Knowledge, attitude and perception of Pakistanis towards COVID-19; a large cross-sectional survey

Zoya Fatima Rizwan Ladiwala, Rubaid Azhar Dhillon, Ibrahim Zahid, Omar Irfan, Muhammad Sharjeel Khan, Safia Awan, Javaid Ahmad Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has created havoc globally as countries worldwide struggle to combat this pandemic. Since prevention and social isolation are known to be the only ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this has created challenges among the lower-middle income countries (LMIC) including Pakistan, as it battles between an under-resourced healthcare, an economic shutdown, and widespread myths and misconceptions. Therefore, a study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and perceptions regarding COVID-19 as public understanding is vital to help facilitate the control of this outbreak. Methods: A pre-validated online questionnaire was distributed among the general population of Pakistan from 1st to 12th June 2020. Descriptive statistics were analyzed using SPSS v25. Adequate knowledge was assigned as a score of > 4 (range: 0–8) and good perception as a score of > 3 (range: 0–5). Chi-square test was used to determine the significance of difference in knowledge and perception of COVID-19 with socio-demographic characteristics. Logistic regression analysis was run to identify factors associated with adequate knowledge and perception. P < 0.05 was considered as significant. Results: A total of 1200 respondents participated in this study with a wide range of age groups and education. Majority of the respondents had adequate knowledge (93.3%) with a mean score of 6.59 ± 1.35, and good perception (85.6%) with a mean score of 4.29 ± 0.82. Significant differences in knowledge and perception were observed among genders, age groups, education and between students and employees in the healthcare and non-healthcare department. A multivariate analysis revealed a higher educational status and female gender to be significant predictors of adequate knowledge and perception. Conclusions: Albeit the surge of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, the participants demonstrated an overall adequate knowledge and good perception towards COVID-19. There is a need to follow the preventive protocols and dissemination of correct information through conducting educational interventions that target safe health practices and provide appropriate information on this infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Coronavirus
  • Knowledge
  • Pakistan
  • Pandemic
  • Perception

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