COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices of United Arab Emirates medical and health sciences students: A cross sectional study

Noura Baniyas, Mohamud Sheek-Hussein, Nouf Al Kaabi, Maitha Al Shamsi, Maitha Al Neyadi, Rauda Al Khoori, Suad Ajab, Muhammad Abid, Michal Grivna, Fikri M. Abu-Zidan

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic is the largest viral pandemic of the 21st century. We aimed to study COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) among medical and health sciences students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We performed a cross-sectional study between 2 June and 19 August 2020. The survey was distributed online using Survey Monkey. It was conducted in English and comprised two parts: socio-demographic characteristics, and KAP towards COVID-19. 712 responses to the questionnaire were collected. 90% of respondents (n = 695) were undergraduate students, while 10% (n = 81) were postgraduates. The majority (87%, n = 647) stated that they obtained COVID-19 information from multiple reliable sources. They were highly knowledgeable about the COVID-19 pandemic, but 76% (n = 539) did not recognize its routes of transmission. Medical students were significantly more knowledgeable compared with allied health students (P 0.0001, Mann Whitney U test) but there was no difference in knowledge between undergraduate and postgraduate students (P = 0.14, Mann Whitney U test). Medical students thought that more could be done to mitigate the COVID-19 situation compared with the allied health students (66.2% compared with 51.6%, p = 0.002 Fisher s Exact test). 63% (n = 431) were worried about getting COVID-19 infection, while 92% (n = 633)) were worried that a family member could be infected with the virus. 97% (n = 655) took precautions when accepting home deliveries, 94% (n = 637) had been washing their hands more frequently, and 95% (n = 643) had been wearing face masks. In conclusion, medical and health sciences students in the UAE showed high levels of knowledge and good attitudes and practices towards the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, they were worried about themselves or their family members becoming infected. Medical students had more knowledge about COVID-19 pandemic which was reflected in their opinion that more can be done to mitigate its effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0246226
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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