IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 12783: Community Knowledge of and Attitudes towards COVID-19 Prevention Techniques in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
The purpose of the study was to assess the community knowledge of and to obtain a broad overview of attitudes towards appropriate prevention techniques that are recommended by the Ministry of Health to prevent COVID-19 transmission in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study using an online survey was conducted in Saudi Arabia between 1 May and 30 November 2020 to assess the community knowledge of and attitudes towards appropriate COVID-19 prevention techniques in Saudi Arabia. The study tool was developed based on an extensive literature review. Results: A total of 577 individuals were involved in this study. The majority of the participants knew that COVID-19 is classified as a severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by viral infection, and that it is more common among the elderly and those who have a chronic illness. More than half of the participants were able to identify the symptoms of COVID-19 correctly, which are fever, dry cough, and loss of taste. Approximately half the study participants were knowledgeable about appropriate distancing, handwashing, and preventive measures (e.g., wearing a cloth mask, smoking cessation, avoiding dangerous cultural behaviors that increase the probability of disease transmission). More than half of the study participants were able to identify the appropriate actions that should be taken if common COVID-19 symptoms appear. Conclusion: A promising level of knowledge and positive attitudes towards COVID-19 was observed in Saudi Arabia. Continuous efforts should be maintained to sustain the level of awareness among the public. Further studies are warranted to explore the level of knowledge and attitudes after the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines.