Covid-19 and Saudi Medical Students: A Survey on Their Knowledge and Preventive Behavior before Clinical Practice in Hospital
Introduction: COVID-19 has a higher infection rate among health care professionals due to heavy viral load. The medical students and interns are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 owing to being relatively new in the field and the lack of knowledge and behavioural adaptation. Aim: This study aimed to assess the knowledge level and adoption of preventive behavioural practices of medical students in Qassim University, Qassim, Saudi Arabia. Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted among 180 medical students studying at Qassim University, Qassim Saudi Arabia. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among the medical students using an online platform. The questionnaire includes; basic demographic characteristics (age, gender, and academic year level), knowledge, and preventive behavior questionnaires. Data were tabulated in MS Excel and all data analyses were performed using SPSS version 26. Results: The most common sources of COVID-19 information were social media (52.2%), healthcare workers (51.1%), and official sites (48.3%). Overall, 51.1% of the medical students had low knowledge toward COVID19 potential source of transmission, risk factors, and virulence while good knowledge was accounted for 48.9%. For preventive behavior, most of them were classified into high preventive behavior levels with 89.4% and only 10.6% were low levels. It is important to note that the knowledge level of males was significantly better than females (Z=-1.958; p=0.050). Conclusion: Despite optimistic preventive behavior, the knowledge of medical students toward the potential transmission, risk factors, and virulence seems to be lacking. Male students seem to have better knowledge than female students.