|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 17-20
Knowledge pertaining to COVID19 among medical population of Indian state of Kerala: An online cross-sectional survey
Jose J Kochuparambil1, Aleena Issac2, Shaji George2, Naveen Kumar Panicker1
1 Department of Pharmacy Practice, St. Joseph's College of Pharmacy, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
2 Department of Pharmacy Practice, Nirmala College of Pharmacy, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
|Date of Submission||07-May-2020|
|Date of Decision||12-May-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||21-Jun-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||4-Sep-2020|
Ms. Aleena Issac
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Nirmala College of Pharmacy, Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam, Kerala
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
The coronavirus disease 2019, the first case of India surfaced in Kerala. Hence, an exploration of knowledge of medical professionals regarding transmission and steps adopted for prevention and spread of disease was assessed via a cross-sectional study, designed and disseminated through media. The study revealed no significant difference in knowledge score based on district, age and medical discipline. However, majority of the participants lacked basic knowledge and opted social media to update knowledge, which pinpoints towards the need for online training courses in newer disaeses.
Keywords: Coronavirus, coronavirus disease 2019, Kerala model of COVID, SARS Cov-2
|How to cite this article:|
Kochuparambil JJ, Issac A, George S, Panicker NK. Knowledge pertaining to COVID19 among medical population of Indian state of Kerala: An online cross-sectional survey. J Patient Saf Infect Control 2020;8:17-20
|How to cite this URL:|
Kochuparambil JJ, Issac A, George S, Panicker NK. Knowledge pertaining to COVID19 among medical population of Indian state of Kerala: An online cross-sectional survey. J Patient Saf Infect Control [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 21];8:17-20. Available from: https://www.jpsiconline.com/text.asp?2020/8/1/17/294374
| Introduction|| |
SARS Cov-2, a new strain of coronaviruses, resulted in a viral respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with symptoms similar to pneumonia. This strain was first isolated in the Republic of China on January 7, 2019. Subsequently, the viral disease spread took off and has been reported in various countries. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic as the disease spread to more than 200 countries with 90,000 deaths as of April 9, 2020.
The first 10 cases of COVID-19 in India were reported from Kerala state among travellers from the Republic of China and Italy and their primary contacts. The incidence of the disease was 0.0002 per 1,000,000 people in India.
The state of Kerala thus initiated procedures to prevent the secondary transmission of infections and thus quarantined travellers from COVID-19 reported countries with the isolation of symptomatic people, followed by testing for COVID-19. Educational institutions and other public gathering areas were closed and work from home policy was enforced. The government provided relevant information regarding COVID-19, along with its mode of transmission, ensuring personal hygiene, hand-washing techniques and preventive measures through media.
However, the spread of fake information's via social media and the internet led to inaccurate information, resulting in rumours and false practices among the public. Even though the health-care team, along with medical students, propagated awareness in the community, a gap still existed and even the clinicians were in a double-minded state.
Health-care professionals involved in patient care play an important role in transmission of infection from one patient to the other. They should strictly adhere to the prevention control practices while performing their duties which will help to protect both the patients and themselves. In the SARS outbreaks caused by coronaviruses, which was similar to COVID-19, 21% of total infected were health-care professionals. Therefore, a proper understanding and adherence to recommended guidelines among health-care teams is an essential preventive measure to bring down community viral load to combat outbreaks.
In light of this, the study was designed to assess knowledge of health-care professionals and medical students regarding preventive measures to avoid community transmission of the COVID-19.
| Methodology|| |
A cross-sectional study was conducted among medical professionals in all districts in Kerala state to assess knowledge and perceptions of the COVID-19. Participants willing to participate and belong to the medical background (inclusion criteria), consented by clicking the agree button in Google Form, only were included.
The survey time was 1 week (March 18–24, 2020) using convenience sampling (personal contacts for recruiting participants) and snowball sampling (participants requested to circulate the survey among colleagues). The responders were also recruited via social media, dissemination of the Google Form via WhatsApp and Facebook. Marking a double response in the survey was circumvented using internet protocol address blocking. The study included only residents of Kerala State, aged above 18 years.
The questionnaire designed in English and Malayalam developed after reviewing the literature and information from the WHO website. The questionnaire was reviewed by experts regarding the relevance, consistency and local context of the questions.
The questionnaire was composed of three sections. Section A contains demographic details and Section B represented by 6 questions, a question to assess the knowledge regarding the transmission of SARS Cov-2 (epidemiological knowledge) and 5 questions to assess the knowledge regarding precautionary methods (clinical knowledge) to be taken to prevent transmissions such as personal hygiene, social distancing and respiratory symptom management. Knowledge evaluation is done on the score obtained for the correct response. Section C (attitude towards media) contained one question regarding the perception of information from the media to update knowledge.
The total scoring range of 0–6 points was dichotomized, as score 6 was considered good, 4–5; fair and ≤3; poor knowledge. Data entry and analysis were done using SPPS version 20.0 (Armonk, NY, USA).
| Results|| |
Of the total 756 responders [Table 1], 69% represented the pharmacy profession, followed by nursing 13%, and the remaining were physicians, physiotherapists, optometrists, microbiologists, medicosocial workers and psychologists. Participants ranged from undergraduate students to working professionals with a dominance of females 57.7% (n = 437) and students as a whole contributed largely to the study (69.7%). The age varied from 18 to 83 years, with a preponderance of 18–30 years (n = 711; 94%).
Among all participants, the peak response was received from Ernakulam (n = 121; 16%) and the least response from Kasargod (n = 23; 3%).
The mean knowledge score [Table 2] of 3.341.23 indicated inadequate knowledge. A score ≤3 was represented by 58.6% (n = 443) and good knowledge depiction was minimal (n = 29), majority from the Ernakulam district (n = 7), maximum males (n = 20) and pharmacists (n = 22), individuals belonging to the age group of 18–30 (n = 27). The highest indicator in age group and pharmacists may be due to a high percentage of people coming under that category.
The study revealed no significant difference in an individual's knowledge score belonging to different districts (P = 0.075), age groups (P = 0.35), medical disciplines (P = 0.27) and type of participant (P = 0.94). But, the study observed that there was a significant difference in the knowledge levels in the gender group (P = 0.006).
Participants updated knowledge via social media (47.5%), from the medical professionals' advice (26.5%) and scientific medical journals (23.4%). The majority of participants with good knowledge updated themselves using scientific literature (n = 16, 55.1%).
The results point out that knowledge regarding a particular epidemic is not associated with the degree of study and the experience gained in the medical discipline. This finding reflects the importance of educating medical professionals and students, whom the general public may rely on during an outbreak.
The role of media for knowledge upgrading is crucial; hence, social media credibility should be ascertained as it is a powerful source for generating panic. Medical professionals relying on this media to upgrade knowledge might be a disaster and a downfall of a country.
| Conclusion|| |
Knowledge of the mode of transmission of the disease is very important in preventing the community spread, and improper knowledge among medical population can amplify the spread of a pandemic. The clinical knowledge regarding precautionary methods to be addressed well and the findings indicate the requirement of knowledge upgradation via online courses and training programs.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2]