Medical Students' Awareness of COVID-19 Against the Background of Remote LearningAuthor(s): Vladislav R. Kuchma, Anna Yu. Makarova*, Nataliya L. Yamschikova, Elena V. Naryshkina, Anna R. Virabova and Artem A. Fedorinin
The article presents an assessment of the knowledge and awareness of university students about the sources of COVID-19 data. The 27-question survey was conducted between 15 and 30 June 2020 with the participation of 142 medical university students. Conducted one-factor analysis of students' awareness of COVID-19, ways of obtaining vital health information, individual self-efficacy of preventive interventions in the conditions of pandemic stress, and remote learning was based on students’ responses.
71.8% of respondents named the Internet and social networks as the sources of information on COVID-19. In the conditions of self-isolation, students' screen time had increased by 68%.
COVID-19 was assessed as a serious global threat to public health at an average of 4.3, with the threat of the virus spreading rated as sufficiently ‘neurotic’ (65.5%, with an average result of 3.06; SD=1.31). Respondents rated their chances to contract COVID-19 on average as 3.26 (SD=1.34), 52.8% regarded COVID-19 as threatening to health, and 47.2% expressed fear for loved ones and families. 65.5% cast some doubts about the imminent end of a pandemic threat.
Students demonstrated a lack of knowledge about COVID-19, but correctly noted the activities that reduce its spread. The uncertainty of the majority of respondents and the increased anxiety determine the lack of individual self-efficacy of interventions that reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
Therefore, the public requires continuous education and reliable facts on COVID-19 to address the problem of the abundance of misinformation posted on the Internet and social networking, both in the contexts of well-being and further pandemic development.