Vol. 6, Issue 7, Part D (2020)
Awareness of middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (Mers-Cov) among patients attending a primary care center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Background: Although Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been continuously seen in Saudi Arabia for more than 5 years, little is known about the awareness and behaviors of Saudi patients and public towards MERS-CoV. Additionally, the few studies that examined the MERS-CoV awareness among public and patients suffered from methodological limitations, with none targeted patients attending primary health care services. Additionally, the influencing factors of awareness and practices have never been comprehensively examined. This study aimed to assess the levels of knowledge, attitude, and practices related to MERS-CoV. and their influencing factors among a sample of patients at a primary care settings. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to examine patients attending Al-Wazarat health care center in Riyadh between May and June 2018. Data were collected using a structured study questionnaire, which includes data on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the participants as well as knowledge, attitude, and practices related to MERS- CoV. Scores were calculated for knowledge, attitude, and practices of MERS-CoV and were transformed to 100-point scale for easy interpretation. Results: The current analysis included 181 participants. The average age was 35.3±11.0 years and 51.1% was males. The majority (59.2%) of participants were married and 43.9% of the participants had college or higher education. The overall awareness level was 64.7% (including 57.2% for knowledge and 76.5% for attitude) and the level of appropriate preventive practices was 85.6%. The scores of both awareness and practices were positively and significantly correlated (correlation coefficient=0.232, p=0.002). In addition to awareness, appropriate preventive practices were independently associated with non-employment status and small number of visits to primary care during last year. The current finding pointed to some important misconceptions related to MERS-CoV such as incubation period, animal reservoir, the use of vaccine for prevention, and the use of antibiotics for treatment. Internet and social media were the main sources used to get information about MERS-CoV (66.9%), followed by doctors, TV, friends & neighbors, newspapers, and others. Conclusions: We are reporting fair awareness and good practices regarding MERS-CoV among a sample of patients at a primary care setting. The current finding indicated the need for improving awareness and understanding of these patients. Additionally, it calls for using internet and social media as an important platform in any future educational program. There is a need for a future intervention study that examines the impact of educational program that consider the above misconceptions on the awareness and practices levels of patients attending primary care services.
How to cite this article:
Ohoud Suliman Aloraifej, Ayman Afify, Hamad Al Harbi, Mostafa Kofi. Awareness of middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (Mers-Cov) among patients attending a primary care center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Int J Appl Res 2020;6(7):249-261.