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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 105-110

Perceptions and practices of health care professionals regarding coronavirus disease-19 pandemic: An online survey from two developing regions

1 Department of Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical University of Bahrain, Adliya, Bahrain
2 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya
3 Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
4 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya
5 Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai; Department of Medicine, Rashid Hospital, DHA, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Khadija A Hafidh
Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College for Girls, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ljms.ljms_51_21

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Background/Aims: Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are among the frontlines of the battle against the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Adequate knowledge of prevention and treatment practices, alongside a positive and forward attitude, are all essential for the success of the defense against COVID-19. We aimed to scope the knowledge, attitude, and practices of HCPs toward the COVID-19 pandemic at its peak time from 2 developing regions: the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Materials and Methods: We utilized an online, electronic survey consisting of a multiple-choice questionnaire including three domains: Knowledge, attitudes, and practices, targeting a convenience sample of HCPs from the MENA region. Results: Three hundred and seventy-four respondents were included in the analysis; 68.7% resided and practiced in the Middle East, while 31.3% were from North Africa. The majority (71.2%) had postgraduate degrees and were either hospital or non-hospital doctors. Regarding basic knowledge, the majority recognized the main clinical symptoms of COVID-19 and that there was no effective antiviral treatment at the time. The majority also recognized the role of supportive measures, social distancing, isolation, and treating those infected as effective ways to reduce the spread of the virus. In addition, respondents reported that through a general curfew, social distancing was either very effective (65.8%) or effective (31.9%). Respondents were mainly worried about the health of their family members, the risk of contracting the coronavirus, and the economic situation of their family. Two-thirds considered the government's reaction to the current pandemic appropriate, while about one-fifth (21.2%) reported it somewhat insufficient. However, high levels of confidence were reported in countries' abilities to control the pandemic successfully. Regarding practices, 18.5% reported having been too crowded recently, and 16.5% admitted having not worn a mask when leaving the house. Preventative measures varied widely; the best was reported for washing hands more frequently than before (80.3%), while the worst was for the likelihood of informing people around an individual if he/she developed symptoms of sickness (56.1%). Conclusions: HCPs exhibited a reasonably high level of basic knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic in its early months. Despite a reportedly positive attitude toward the preventative measures, these were not matched by equally strict individual behaviors.

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