COVID-19 epidemic and Chinese medical students: perception, emotions, attitudes, and conformity during domicile quarantine
Keywords:Pandemic, compliance, facemask, hand hygiene, lockdown
Introduction: Students from Shantou University Medical College were subject to domicile quarantine during the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Methodology: We investigated their experience during March-April 2020 using a cross-sectional, self-administered, anonymous online survey.
Results: Out of 531 respondents, 75.7% became aware of the outbreak via the Internet (61.7%), WeChat (57.8%), and Weibo (49%). Nearly all students knew COVID-19 manifestations, incubation period, and transmission modes; about half considered wearing facemask and hand hygiene as effective epidemic interventions. They experienced various emotional reactions that changed significantly in response to the outbreak, lockdown, and quarantine (ps < 0.001), with depression in 23.3%. Most students (83.4%-99.4%) had positive attitudes and good compliance towards domicile quarantine and preventive measures. Females were significantly better than males in hand hygiene compliance (p = 0.04). More students with positive attitudes and good compliance than those without educated their families (ps < 0.05 – ps < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression showed negative relationships between anger and hand hygiene attitude (OR = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.01-0.87); confusion and quarantine compliance (0.30, 0.12-0.76); and anger and compliance with quarantine (0.32, 0.11-0.93), facemask (0.12, 0.03-0.50), and hand hygiene (0.27, 0.08-0.88).
Conclusions: This study revealed how multichannel risk communication, early awareness, positive attitudes, and conformity of medical college students might have contributed to the favorable outcome from the COVID-19 epidemic in China. Clear, accurate, consistent, early risk communication by the local, national, and international public health authorities seems critical to promote public understanding, correct risk perception, and rational emotions and attitudes, leading to optimal conformity.
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