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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 205-210  

Knowledge, attitude, and practices related to COVID-19 pandemic among social media users in J&K, India


1 Demonstrator, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Date of Submission03-May-2020
Date of Decision11-May-2020
Date of Acceptance15-May-2020
Date of Web Publication2-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Sheikh Mohd Saleem
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar - 190 010, Jammu and Kashmir
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_469_20

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   Abstract 


Background: A series of measures have been suggested to reduce Covid-19 infection, including knowledge training for prevention and control, isolation, disinfection, classified protections at different degrees in infection areas, and protection of confirmed cases. Objectives: We conducted this study with an aim to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice among the general population regarding COVID-19. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out by the Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar in the month of April 2020. The questionnaire had four segments to collect data regarding social-demographic details, knowledge regarding Covid-19, attitude and practice based questions. The questionnaire was shared via social media applications like face book and Whatsapp to reach the target population. Continuous variables were summarized as frequency and percentage. All the analysis was done using Microsoft Excel 2016. Among participants who responded, 1252 (82%) were in the age group of 18–40 years and 912 (60%) from urban areas. Results: A total of 934 (61%) respondents had heard details on COVID-19 from the social media, 1358 (89%) knew all ways of coronavirus transmission, 602 (40%) felt that COVID-19 is a serious disease, 1184 (78%) responded that they totally agree with the lockdown decision, and 1296 (85%) responded that lockdown is helping in reducing the number of cases. The majority, i.e. 1318 (87%), followed advisories and reported washing hands with soap and water regularly, 1108 (73%) reported regularly wearing masks, 1344 (89%) reported following lockdown guidelines, and 1306 (87%) reported maintaining social distancing. The respondents exhibited good knowledge, positive attitude, and sensible practices regarding COVID-19. Conclusion: Our study showed that the respondents have exhibited good knowledge, positive attitude and sensible practices regarding covid-19 during the pandemic.

Keywords: Attitude, COVID-19, knowledge, practice, UT of J and K


How to cite this article:
Dkhar SA, Quansar R, Saleem SM, Khan S M. Knowledge, attitude, and practices related to COVID-19 pandemic among social media users in J&K, India. Indian J Public Health 2020;64, Suppl S2:205-10

How to cite this URL:
Dkhar SA, Quansar R, Saleem SM, Khan S M. Knowledge, attitude, and practices related to COVID-19 pandemic among social media users in J&K, India. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 30];64, Suppl S2:205-10. Available from: http://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2020/64/6/205/285599




   Introduction Top


Till date, there have been many studies on the epidemiology, causes, and clinical features of COVID-19, but relatively little has been conducted on the knowledge, attitude, and practice among the general population as the disease is new. We conducted this study with an aim to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice among the general population regarding COVID-19.


   Materials and Methods Top


The study data were collected using an online questionnaire through Google Forms. The questionnaire had four segments to collect data regarding sociodemographic details, knowledge regarding COVID-19, and attitude- and practice-based questions. The target survey participants were those above the age of 15 years, who were active social media users, and who were part of the regional Jammu and Kashmir Group on various social media platforms. The questionnaire had a user-friendly design and layout to avoid multiple responses. The response rate of filling the questionnaire by the participants was 18.05% in 3 days' time. The questionnaire was pretested among twenty potential participants, and necessary changes in language, style, and responses were done following the pretest.

The questionnaire was shared via social media applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp to reach the study population. Region-specific groups were identified, and the questionnaire was shared with the group members. Data were collected for a total of 3 days.

Ethical issues: All information regarding the study, participants' rights, and researcher's contact details were provided on the first page of the survey questionnaire. Permission to conduct the study was taken from the institutional ethics committee. The data file in Microsoft Excel was downloaded from the Google Drive. Variables were summarized as frequency and percentage. All analyses were done using Microsoft Excel 2016.


   Results Top


This cross-sectional, descriptive study was carried out to ascertain the knowledge, attitude, and practice among the study participants. A total of 1574 participants took part in the study. The sociodemographic characteristics of the study participants are shown in [Table 1]. Among the participants who responded, 1252 (82%) were in the age group of 18–40 years, 912 (60%) were from urban areas, and 672 (44%) were students.
Table 1: Sociodemographic characteristics of the study participants

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The knowledge among the study participants regarding COVID-19 is described in [Table 2]. Majority, i.e., 1498 (98%), knew about coronavirus, 89% knew all ways of coronavirus transmission, and 1156 (76%) knew how to prevent oneself from coronavirus infection. A total of 1059 (70%) participants responded that newspapers, the Internet, and television were the main sources of awareness. [Table 3] reports the attitude of the study participants regarding COVID-19. A total of 602 (40%) respondents felt that COVID-19 is a serious disease and 1184 (78%) responded that they fully agreed with the lockdown decision, 658 (44%) respondents considered that initiatives taken by administrations were adequate, and 1296 (85%) respondents responded that lockdown was helping in reducing the number of cases. [Table 4] shows practice regarding COVID-19 among the study participants. Among the respondents, 1318 (87%) followed advisories and reported washing their hands with soap and water regularly, 1108 (73%) reported regularly wearing, 1344 (89%) reported strictly following lockdown guidelines, 1306 (87%) reported maintaining social distancing, and 668 (45%) reported work from home.
Table 2: Knowledge regarding COVID-19 among the study participants

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Table 3: Attitude regarding COVID.19 among the study participants

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Table 4: Practice regarding COVID-19 among the study participants

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   Discussion Top


We received an overwhelming response from 1574 participants within 3 days. Most of the participants were under the age of 40 (84%) as they are digitally more active than others and could spare more time during the current lockdown to go through the survey.[1] Around 54% of the families have 1–2 elders (>60 years age), and this has been reported by some other studies as well.[2] As expected from the current scale with the strict enforcement of lockdown and fear of this disease, 98% of the participants knew what coronavirus is, and this result is similar to a study where 99% of the respondents knew about the disease.[2] The news of the virus reached people mostly through social media (61%).[2] All the modes of transmission and symptoms are being explained on every platform, and this was reflected in our survey where 89% of the respondents were well aware about all modes of transmission; this is similar to findings by online surveys done in the UK and the USA.[1],[3]

In our study, 78% of the respondents showed complete agreement with the government's decision of lockdown, whereas in a similar study, 68% of the respondents were found to be agreeing with their government.[1] Around 85% of the respondents considered lockdown as a step to restrain the spread of virus, whereas 81% perceived a need to extend the lockdown; a similar study reported that 64% were ready for an extension to the lockdown.[4] Nearly 42% of the respondents opined that the government's initiatives to prevent coronavirus are inadequate; another study reported it as 36%.[2] Around 32% of the respondents were of the opinion that wearing a mask could prevent acquiring the infection; this was similar to an online study where 37.8% had this view.[1] Nearly 56% of the respondents had looked for proper ways of wearing the mask, 86% agreed that there was no treatment, and 36% were always worried that someone they knew may have an infection that they are not aware of. This result is similar to a study in the USA where people were worried from sometimes to always at 39% and 24%, respectively, while 39% viewed it as a fatal disease, where in as little as 14% of the people during the initial days of outbreak thought of it as a fatal disease.[4] Around 76% of the respondents were in agreement that the disease could be prevented, much like a study conducted in Bangladesh.[2] The steps that one would take in case of someone in their close relationship develop COVID-19 symptoms included the following: 54% opting to visit a hospital; 40% staying on quarantine, and as little as 3% preferring to stay and treat at home.


   Conclusion Top


Our study showed that the respondents had good knowledge, positive attitude, and sensible practices regarding COVID-19 during the pandemic. Health education programs are crucial for encouraging positive attitude and sustaining safe practices.

Acknowledgment

The authors are highly thankful to all the respondents who took part in this study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
McFadden SM, Malik AA, Aguolu OG, Willebrand KS, Omer SB. Perceptions of the adult US population regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak. PLoS One 2020;15:e0231808.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Rapid Perception Survey on COVID19 Awareness and Economic Impact. BRAC; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Geldsetzer P. Use of rapid online surveys to assess people's perceptions during infectious disease outbreaks: A cross-sectional survey on COVID-19. J Med Internet Res 2020;22:e18790.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Wolf MS, Serper M, Opsasnick L, et al. Awareness, Attitudes, and Actions Related to COVID-19 Among Adults With Chronic Conditions at the Onset of the U.S. Outbreak: A Cross-sectional Survey [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 9]. Ann Intern Med 2020;M20-1239. doi:10.7326/M20-1239.  Back to cited text no. 4
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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