1921
Volume 104, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic is hitting the whole world, including the United Arab Emirates. Public awareness and adherence to the recommendations play a major role in managing a crisis of this magnitude which is largely affected by knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP). Hence, the aim of this study was to assess COVID-19–related KAP of the University of Sharjah (UOS) students and compare between health-related (HR) and non-HR (NHR) majors. A cross-sectional study was conducted in May 2020 in which 1,012 (481 health-related and 531 NHR) students participated via an online KAP questionnaire. The students’ sociodemographic characteristics and sources of information were also recorded, and data were analyzed. Students were aged 20–25 years, with an overall knowledge score of 72.4%, and the main source of their information was the Internet and social media (85.2%). Those in HR majors had a higher knowledge score (76%) than those in NHR students (69%). Regarding attitudes, both HR and NHR students demonstrated comparable and positive attitudes to curb the spread. With respect to practices, more NHR students used masks (92.3%), almost all the time than HR students (88.4%). HR students (99.4%) avoided crowded places and practiced social distancing more than NHR students (99.4% versus 97.4% and 97.7% versus 93.2%, respectively). In conclusion, UOS students demonstrated adequate knowledge, and possessed good attitudes and low-risk practices toward prevention of COVID-19. It is recommended that universities including UOS continue to use digital university communication platforms to regularly disseminate vital information in such emergencies.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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  • Received : 14 Jul 2020
  • Accepted : 10 Nov 2020
  • Published online : 23 Nov 2020
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