Medical students' knowledge and attitudes in relation to COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia: Multi-center online survey
Sultan Alsheikh1, Walid Alorainy2, Husam Alkahthlan2, Khalid Alamri3, Lina Neel4, Nouf Alrumaihi5, Fatma Alshahrani6, Mona Soliman5
1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medical Student, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Medical Student, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Medical Student, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5 Departments of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Medicine, Head of Infection Control Unit, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Mona Soliman
Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Medical students have an important role to provide training to other medical students and health workers, and to volunteer when there is a shortage in health care personnel. The aim of the study was to evaluate the knowledge of medical students in six medical colleges in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, about the coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Materials and Methods: An online survey was distributed to undergraduate medical students from August to October 2021. A total of 261 medical students participated in the study. The survey composed of 26 questions that evaluated students' knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of symptoms, modes of transmission, diagnosis, management, and prevention.
Results: Two hundred and sixty-one medical students participated in the study with an overall response rate of 31.37%. Around half of the respondents (54%) being from 1st to 4rd medical years 81 (31.03%) and 60 (22.99%), respectively. The students' knowledge regarding COVID-19 was investigated in different domains. The mean knowledge score of the protection and prevention of the disease was the highest with a (mean = 79.85%) followed by the knowledge of the ways of the disease transmission (mean 71.31%). 140 (53.64%) of the participants knew how to properly diagnose COVID-19, while (48.35%) were able to identify the different possible symptoms that can be seen in COVID-19-positive individuals (47.32%) knew the different lines of treatment according to the case severity.
Conclusions: The results of the present study can be utilized to develop undergraduate medical curricula with the sufficient amount of knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic.