Web-based Survey on the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour among Vaccinated and Unvaccinated College Students in Puducherry, India: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Subhashri Soundirarajan,
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Sree Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Osudu, Agaram Village, Puducherry, India.
Introduction: Coronaviruses (CoVs) encompass a large group of viruses known to infect the upper respiratory tract in humans. The devastating impact of the virus has led to widespread infections among millions of individuals. Widespread disregard for ‘Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Appropriate Behaviour’ (CAB) by the public has significantly strained the Indian healthcare system. Despite efforts to educate the public on CAB through social media since 2020, only a minority have incorporated these practices into their daily lives. Notably, some vaccinated individuals have been hesitant to adhere to CAB despite repeated awareness efforts. This study aims to understand adherence to CAB among vaccinated and unvaccinated students not associated with the healthcare system.
Aim: To evaluate the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) of CAB among vaccinated and unvaccinated college students.
Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Puducherry, India among various engineering and arts college students of Puducherry, India from December 2021 to February 2022. A web-based data collection tool was designed using Google Forms. Data was collected through invitation letters and questionnaires distributed via WhatsApp groups and Instagram. The study included a total of 360 responses, with the questionnaire comprising 40 questions related to KAP, consisting of 17, 7, and 16 questions, respectively. The results were expressed in percentages.
Results: Among the vaccinated participants, 263 (89.7%) identified social media as the primary source of COVID-19 related information. Knowledge and attitude towards COVID-19 vaccination revealed that over 50% were aware of the safety and efficacy of vaccines and the necessity of receiving two doses as advised by the government. While knowledge and attitude were similar across vaccinated and unvaccinated college students, there was a slightly higher percentage among the vaccinated group. However, there was an increased percentage of practice among unvaccinated students, indicating greater awareness of infection prevention.
Conclusion: The study found that the knowledge, attitude, and behaviour of college students, particularly those not in medical fields, were satisfactory, likely due to the widespread availability of information on social media. These findings can be valuable for public health departments to adopt a people-centered approach to raise awareness among the public and reduce vaccine hesitancy.