What factors shape public knowledge, attitudes, and practices of corticosteroid use in the UAE during the COVID-19 pandemic?
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College of Pharmacy, Al Ain University, Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UNITED KINGDOM
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, JORDAN
Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, Amman, JORDAN
College of Dental Surgery, City University Ajman, Ajman, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
College of General Education, City University Ajman, Ajman, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Ajman University, Ajman, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
College of Pharmacy, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, Applied Science Private University, Amman, JORDAN
MEU Research Unit, Middle East University, Amman, Jordan
Online publication date: 2023-12-14
Publication date: 2024-01-01
Electron J Gen Med 2024;21(1):em559
Corticosteroid therapy has been associated with detrimental consequences such as cardiovascular problems and immunosuppression.

Aims & objectives:
This study aimed to assess the public knowledge, attitudes, and practice surrounding the use of corticosteroids in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was a cross-sectional study carried out among the general population of the UAE from March to July 2022. A self-administered online survey was used, which included questions about participants’ sociodemographics, health status, and knowledge regarding corticosteroids. Eligibility criteria included participants aged>18 years or older and could read and respond to the questionnaire.

The study involved 583 participants, where the majority were mostly males living in urban areas. Nearly half had a bachelor’s degree, and 36.9% worked in the health sector. Around 55.0% of the participants had a high level of knowledge about corticosteroids, while more than half had a negative attitude towards them. The most frequently reported reason for using corticosteroids was dermatological diseases. Males with lower education levels, and who had not been infected with COVID-19 had lower odds of having a high level of knowledge about corticosteroids. Furthermore, older participants and those with a lower education level had a more negative attitude towards corticosteroids.

This study showed gaps in knowledge and unfavorable attitude toward use of corticosteroids. Age, gender, working field, education level, residential area, having a chronic disease, being infected with COVID-19, and knowledge level were significantly associated with knowledge, attitude, and/or practice of corticosteroid use.

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