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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 99-103

Awareness and attitude toward COVID-19 among the students of a rural tertiary care center and dental college: A cross-sectional study

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, Government Dental College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, Government Dental College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
3 Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, Government Dental College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prasanth Viswambharan
Department of Prosthodontics, Government Dental College, Alappuzha, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpcdr.ijpcdr_46_20

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Introduction: Awareness, attitude, and practice play a major role in containing any infectious disease. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has no definitive treatment or vaccines; hence, it is momentous to spread awareness regarding the prevention strategies. It is crucial for the government and concerned authorities to understand the students' perception and attitude in the time of the current pandemic. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the level of awareness among the students of Government Dental College Alappuzha, a rural tertiary care center and Dental College in Kerala, India, regarding COVID-19 and their attitude toward the pandemic. Methodology: Questionnaire which included 21 items was used for the research. Observed data were coded, tabulated, and analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows (Version 20.0. Armonk, NY, USA: IBM Corp.). The total awareness score calculated was 20. Comparison between gender (males/females) and study groups (preclinical students/clinical students) was made using the Chi-square test. Comparison of total awareness scores between study groups was made using independent t-test. Results: Most of the study participants across study groups regularly kept track of the latest news on COVID-19 and perceived it to be of moderate or very dangerous risk though they were quite optimistic of its control. About 96% of males and 82% of females felt it is necessary to get mental health help if one panics in lieu of the pandemic situation. The mean total awareness score (out of 20) was 15.16 ± 1.81. There was no significant difference in total awareness score based on gender (15.23 ± 2.24 for males and 15.15 ± 1.71 for females) and also among the category of students (14.88 ± 1.94 for preclinical students and 15.35 ± 1.69 among clinical students). Conclusions: Attempts should be made for increasing the awareness regarding the preferred method of hand hygiene, protocol for performing aerosol-generating procedures, and airborne infection isolation room.

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