Knowledge, Attitude, Practices, and Sources of Information (KAPS) toward COVID-19 during the second wave pandemic among university population in Qatar: A cross-sectional study
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Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Many efforts were performed to contain the virus worldwide. People's knowledge and attitude should be directed toward strict preventive practices to halt the spread of the virus. We aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, practices, and sources of information (KAPS) used by Qatar University (QU) attendees. Methods: A cross-sectional web-based questionnaire was answered by 500 employees and students in the QU community. It included questions on KAPS toward COVID-19. Information on sociodemographics was collected and analyzed. This study was conducted during the second wave of COVID-18 in the state of Qatar (April–May 2021). Results: A total of 475 participants aged between 18 and 68 years old consented to complete the survey questionnaire. The study involved 279 (58.7%) non-Qatari nationals and 196 (41.3%) natives, with 254 (53.5%) participants pursuing postgraduate studies and 221 (46.5%) undergraduates. Approximately two-thirds of the sample were employed (64.8%), while one-third were unemployed (35.2%). Knowledge scores on average were 66.4% (M = 5.31, SD = 1.45, and range: 0–8), with only significant differences were noted between nationalities (natives and non-natives) Participants' average score in practices was 69.72% (M = 4.18, SD = 1.7, and range 0–6) with a significant difference in safe COVID-19 practice scores based on the educational level. Adherence with COVID-19 policies and rules were 82% (M = 2.46, SD = 0.7, and range: 0–3) with no differences noted between groups. In addition, the population reported relying on governmental press conferences (76.0%) as their primary source of gaining details concerning COVID-19, followed by social media (64.4%). The least popular resources were information gained from family, relatives, friends, and coworkers (47.4%) and the news channels on TV (46.7%). Conclusion: Overall, this study provides insights into Qatar's KAPS toward COVID-19 during the quarantine of the second wave of this pandemic. This study, being the first of its kind to be conducted in the state of Qatar, is expected to help the ministry of public health and the government communication office to establish a suitable measurement of response to the spread of COVID-19 and develop the best practices for any future epidemics that might occur.