Knowledge and practices in the wake of novel corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Objective: This study aims to assess the knowledge and practices towards novel corona virus pandemic (COVID-19) among general patients of a tertiary care hospital in Gadap town, Karachi, Pakistan. Study Design: Cross Sectional study. Setting: At OPD of Fatima Hospital, Baqai Medical University, Karachi. Period: 16th to 21st March 2020. Material & Methods: A total of 267 respondents were included using non-probability convenience sampling. Knowledge and Practices towards COVID-19 were assessed using interview based, open-ended questionnaire. The knowledge questionnaire consists of 11 questions assessing, General information, symptoms, modes of disease spread, methods of disease control and self-isolation techniques. Practice assessment was based on five parameters towards prevention. Mean knowledge and practice scores were calculated. A bivariate Pearson correlation, independent sample T-test and One Way ANOVA were utilized to depict statistical correlations between variables. Post-Hoc Analysis was applied within the demographic groups. Results: The mean age of participants was 37.33+15.1 years, 64.8% were 40 & below age, 64.4% were male, 40.4% belonged to Pushtoon, 43.3% were illiterate, 24.3% were laborer and 27% were housewives. The mean knowledge score was 9.31+5.59 out of 30, depicting an overall 31% rate of knowledge. The mean practice score was 1.33+1.34 out of 5. There is a strong positive (p<0.001) correlation between knowledge and practice scores were found. The knowledge and practice scores were also significantly associated with level of education (p<0.001). Conclusion: The overall knowledge and practices towards COVID-19 were found to be very poor in population of low socioeconomic status with low educational background improvising the public health authorities to design the specialized health education interventions aimed at targeting the specific population.