From Knowledge to Practice: Are we Prepared to Handle COVID-19 Pandemic? A Health Centre Based Cross-sectional Study LC06-LC12
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Dayanand Medical
College and Hospital (DMCH), Civil Lines, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.
Introduction: Knowledge is the beginning of prevention, and transformation of knowledge into preventive practices. Knowledge, attitude and practice surveys among populations provide useful information about community behaviour in prevention and control of infectious diseases like Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Aim: To assess the knowledge, perceptions and practices of patients about COVID-19 visiting Outpatient Department (OPD) of a health training centre during lockdown period.
Materials and Methods: A health centre based cross-sectional study was conducted from 1st to 15th May 2020 for 15 days in Rural Health Training Centre (RHTC) of Department of Community Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. All patients (18 years and above) who visited the healthcare facility for the first time (visit) during the study period were included in the study. A total of 485 participants recruited through consecutive sampling were interviewed using adapted World Health Organisation (WHO) and previously published questionnaire on knowledge (15 questions), perceptions (2 questions) and practices (3 questions). Knowledge score ranged from 0 to maximum 15. Analysis was performed using SPSS 20.0 statistical software. Descriptive statistics, t-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Chi-square test were used to determine the difference between the groups for different variables at 0.05 level of significance.
Results: Mean knowledge score of the participants was 10.6±2.1. Out of 485 participants (mean age 48.8±16.2 years), majority 425 (87.6%) knew about main clinical symptoms and 448 (92.4%) knew isolation and treatment of COVID-19 infected persons as an effective way of prevention and control of COVID-19. However, 284 (58.6%) and 276 (56.9%) participants knew about transmission through respiratory droplets and by touching contaminated surfaces, respectively. Educational status showed an independent association with higher knowledge. Total 190 (39.2%) of the participants agreed on stigma against specific individuals. Regularly washing of hands (77.7%), three layered masks (29.9%) and physical distancing (33.2%) were commonly followed practices. Higher knowledge score was significantly associated with regular handwashing practices (p<0.001) and wearing of three layered masks (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Results highlighted good knowledge about COVID-19 of study participants. However, continued efforts over time are required to increase the COVID appropriate behavior regarding usage of face mask and physical distancing.