Awareness towards COVID-19 among
Medical Students: A Cross-sectional
Questionnaire Based Study
F-7/2, New Doctors Colony, Arjun Nagar, Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Introduction: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has surfaced as a public health emergency and the world has witnessed the evolution of unprecedented measures for slowing down the disease progression and reducing the morbidity/mortality associated with the disease. In such scenario healthcare workers assume the most vital and the most vulnerable responsibilities.
Aim: To investigate the awareness of undergraduate students of pre-final and final year, interns and postgraduate students in Shyam Shah Medical College, Rewa, MP towards COVID-19 and the sources on which the respondents depend for acquiring information through a web based questionnaire.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study, conducted from 25th April to 1st May 2020 based on a close-ended, time bound, online questionnaire containing 16 questions based on aetiology, mode of transmission, risk factors, signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention of COVID-19. It was administered to a total of 320 students of which final respondents were 183 (112 undergraduate students and 71 post graduate students and interns) as a Google form through a cross platform messaging application namely WhatsApp. Data about the information sources and the perceived reliability of the respondents on them was also obtained. The filled information was evaluated and the collected data was presented as frequencies and percentages. Awareness was graded as good when the respondents were able to answer more than 75% (>12) questions correctly, average when they answered >50% and ≤75% (9-12) answers correctly and poor when they could answer ≤50% (≤8) questions correctly. Continuous variables were presented as mean±SD. Studentâ€™s Independent t-test was performed to compare the mean awareness level of both groups. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Out of a total of 320 students to whom the questionnaire was sent, 183 participated in the survey (response rate=57.1%). The study revealed a good awareness level of the respondents towards COVID-19 (mean score >12) in both the groups (undergraduate/postgraduate). The percentage of correct answers for entire study population for awareness related questions was 82.24%. The difference in awareness level between undergraduate students in comparison to interns and postgraduate students was found to be statistically significant (p<0.001). The respondents obtained maximum information from the official government websites (mean=3.6) and had maximum confidence on the same for the credibility of data (mean=3.9).
Conclusion: The awareness level of the students was found to be good. To cope up with this new emerging infectious disease, the health care workers must remain updated with all recent developments. Comprehensive educational programs focused on field epidemiology, infection control practice and public health are the need of the hour.