Factors Relating to Preventive Practices of Health Science Students during the Early Stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Original Research


Objectives: We assessed the factors relating to the prevention of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for students at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in February and March 2020. A 21 item self-administered questionnaire on the knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding COVID-19 was collected from students of the first to the sixth year using the strategy of simple random sampling. The aim was to establish factors that relate to practices using Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) which were estimated by the logistic regression model, p-value <0.05 shows a significant difference.

Results: Of the 551 students, 41.0% recorded responses indicating good practices toward prevention measures, while around half the students reported that they did not wash their hands for 20 full seconds (50.5%). The overall rate of good knowledge and positive attitude was 49.0% and 26.1%, respectively. When adjusted for all variables in the logistic regression model, a positive overall attitude was associated with good overall preventive practice; AOR = 1.72 (95% CI: 1.16 – 2.55). Furthermore, students mainly accessed information via social media and television (95.8% and 85.8%, respectively).

Conclusions: There were only 41.0% recorded responses indicating good practices toward prevention measures. Besides, knowledge and attitudes about COVID-19 among students were inadequate. Further health education interventions should be focused to change bad hand-washing habits via mass media messages.

Graphical abstract