Assessment of knowledge gaps and perceptions about COVID-19 among health care workers and general public-national cross-sectional study
Gunchan Paul1, Shruti Sharma1, Guneet Singh2, Gurparvesh Singh3, Sarit Sharma4, Birinder Singh Paul5, Parshotam Lal Gautam1
1 Department of Critical Care Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
2 Senior Consultant Intensivist, Department of Intensive Care, Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
3 Department of Research and Development, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
5 Department of Neurology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Dr. Shruti Sharma
Assistant Professor, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana - 141 001, Punjab
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: COVID-19 has impacted everyone's life and livelihood in one way or the other. Individual response to measures taken to control the rapid spread of this disease depend on their knowledge and perceptions. Hence, we proposed to evaluate responses about COVID-19 among the health care workers (HCWs) as well as general public participants (GPPs).
Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional, observational survey conducted during the peak of the pandemic. The 35-items questionnaire was prepared using Google forms and distributed through e-mails and social media.
Results: The 1,026 responses comprised of 558 HCWs (54.4%) and 468 GPPs (45.6%). The most reliable source of information was TV news for 43% GPPs, whereas it was HCWs/Local health authorities for 36.8% HCWs. HCWs had sufficient knowledge regarding COVID-19, while it was relatively low among GPPs (average correct response 65% and 53%, respectively). Intra-group analysis with respect to age, sex, qualification, and socioeconomic status showed that knowledge about mode of transmission by airborne aerosols was significantly low with respect to qualification among GPPs while younger age group (<40 years) HCWs had significantly more knowledge about mode of transmission and asymptomatic carriers. Paranoia of contracting the infection was significantly higher in GPPs with upper and middle socioeconomic status and younger HCWs.
Conclusion: HCWs had moderate level of knowledge, whereas GPPs had low to moderate knowledge, with large scope of improvement in both groups. Continued education, both at professional and community level will not only be helpful but also necessary to improve knowledge, avert negative attitudes and control the devastating pandemic.