Knowledge and Perception of COVID-19 among Healthcare Professionals in the United Arab Emirates: A Cross-sectional Online Survey
Akshaya Srikanth Bhagavathula10000-0002-0581-7808, Abdullah Shehab2, *0000-0001-8533-9174
1 Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE
2 Department of Cardiology, Al Ain Hospital, Al Ain, UAE
During the first week of March, a large number of cases of COVID-19 were reported across the world including the UAE.
To assess the knowledge and perceptions of COVID-19 among HCPs in the UAE.
During the first week of March, a cross-sectional study was conducted among EMA HCPs. A 23-item survey questionnaire on knowledge and perceptions of COVID-19, including specific questions related to the different sources of information was used. Each correct response was scored as “1” and wrong as “0”. The sum of the knowledge scores ≤4 out of 7 was considered as poor knowledge and the sum of the perception scores (score >5 out of 7) as a positive perception.
A total of 353 HCPs completed the study and half of them were male (n=178; 50.4%), doctors (n=257;72.8%), and aged between 35-44 years (n=116; 32.9%). Although most of the participants were aware of COVID-19 (n=350; 99.2%), only a limited (n=168;47.6%) proportion of them got the opportunity to attend lectures/discussions related to COVID-19. Government websites (43.1%) and news bulletins (36%) were the primary sources for COVID-19 information. HCPs' knowledge about COVID-19 was found to be satisfactory (58.4%) and their perceptions were positive (78.5%).
As the number of COVID-19 cases is consistently increasing in the UAE, it is important to improve the level of knowledge and perceptions among HCPs. Educational interventions focusing on prevention and control of COVID-19 should be prioritized to empower HCPs in infectious disease outbreaks.
Keywords: COVID-19, Knowledge, Perception, Health care professionals, Questionnaire, United Arab Emirates.
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Correspondence: Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Cardiology, Al Ain Hospital, Al Ain, UAE; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Abdullah Shehab has 22 years of experience in Internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology and medical education. Currently, he serves as the General Secretary of Emirates Cardiac Society and Vice President of Gulf Intervention Society. He is a Fellow of royal college of physicians UK, American college of physician, European society of cardiology, of American college of cardiology, American society of cardiac intervention and fellow of American heart association. Professor Shehab is the Chief editor of Emirates Medical Journal and also serves as editor in many other regional and international journals. Dr. Shehab has published 149 paper in Medline. His research interest includes: Heart failure, Coronary artery disease, Dyslipidaemia, Hypertension, Arrhythmias, Cardiac intervention, Cardiac imaging, Screening for cardiac disease in sport players, Cardiovascular disease in pregnancy.