Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS): Comparing the knowledge, attitude and practices of different health care workers.J Infect Public Health. 2021 Jan; 14(1):89-96.JI
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness that was recently recognized in humans. Recently, the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia reported a substantial increase in MERS cases, primarily from the Riyadh region. The objective of the present study was to evaluate knowledge, attitude and practices towards MERS among physicians, nurses, pharmacist and technicians individually.
A cross sectional study conducted at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia among individual healthcare workers. The survey questionnaire was self-administrated and consisted of five sections: Demographic; Source of MERS information; Knowledge; Attitude; and Practice of healthcare workers towards MERS.
A total of 391 participants of which physicians (162; 41.4%), pharmacists (18; 4.6%), nurses (130; 33.3%) and technicians (81; 20.7%) were included with a response rate of 95.71%. The majority of the participants were female (53.70%) and mostly in the nurse's category (40.5%). The participants reported the highest main source of information was seminars and workshops (n=191; 48%) followed by social media (n=179; 45%). The overall score indicates good knowledge among physicians (95.7%), pharmacists (88.9%), nurses (86.2%) and technicians (91.4%) and showed statistically significant (p=0.039). The study showed a positive attitude among physicians (96.3%), pharmacist (94.4%), nurses (94.6%) and technicians (90.1%) with no statistically significant (p=0.273). However, the majority of the participants showed average practices towards MERS. However, the least practice among participants was the use of facemask in the crowds (24.2%). The demographic characteristic's age, gender and professions showed significantly associated with mean knowledge score. Similarly, statistical significance observed in gender and experience demographic variables with a mean attitude score.
The study concludes that different health workers showed good knowledge and positive attitudes, but low to average practices towards MERS with low adherence to facemask practice. When comparing workers, physicians have a high degree of knowledge and attitude when compared to nurses, pharmacist and technicians.