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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 4809-4814

Assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward COVID-19 virus among university students in Kurdistan region, Iraq: Online cross-sectional study


1 Department of Biomedical Science, College of Medicine, University of Zakho, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
2 Department of Computer Science, University of Zakho, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ibrahim A Naqid
Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Zakho, Kurdistan Region
Iraq
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_870_20

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Background and Aim: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus infection COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Adherence to infection control measures is potentially influenced by people's knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) about the infection. This project was performed to assess the KAP toward COVID-19 of university students in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional study was performed in April 2020 to evaluate KAP about coronavirus infection among university students in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. A total of 1959 students were recruited in this study and ages ranged from 18 to 55 years old. Results: Among the respondents, 55.03% were female, 93.8% were from Duhok province, and the majority of participants (93.4%) were undergraduate students. The overall correct answer rate of the knowledge questions toward COVID-19 was 75.8% with an average score of 9.1 ± 2.1 SD out of 12. Participants showed better knowledge of infection prevention with around 86.2% correct answers, while the lowermost subscale scores were (67.7%) for questions toward the mode of the transmission of the infection. We found a significant difference in knowledge scores across genders, marital status, program of study, and among different colleges/institutes (P < 0.001). The majority of participants agreed that the local authority will control the infection successfully (69.8%) and showed confidence that the battle against the virus will be won by Kurdistan Regional Government (86.7%). The majority of the recruited sample (93.0%) had not been in any area with crowd and 57.3% used facemasks when leaving out, recently. Conclusion: Students demonstrated good knowledge, appropriate practice, and positive attitude about the infection. These findings indicated that local health education plans to improve people's knowledge about the infection are valuable in protecting the community. The results may be helpful in tailoring an educational program for better containment of the infection and halting the spread of the virus.


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