Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards COVID-19 prevention: a cross-sectional study at University Medical Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Original Research


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has spread around the world that severely affects people's life and the health system of countries. Enhancing the population’s awareness and prevention behaviors are crucial. This study aims to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding COVID-19 prevention of outpatients and visitors at the University Medical Center in Ho Chi Minh City (UMC).

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 765 participants who were conveniently selected when they arrived at UMC between March 2021 and April 2021. A questionnaire was developed based on guidelines of Viet Nam Ministry of Health (Viet Nam MOH), World Health Organization (WHO), and other prior studies to evaluate the general knowledge regarding COVID-19 disease, disease prevention, attitude, and behaviors on prevention methods.

Results: The results showed low proportions of participants who had good knowledge of COVID-19 disease (29.15%) and prevention measures (38.17%) that were in contrast with a high percentage of positive attitudes (89.08%). There were 22.09% of participants were identified as good preventive behaviors based on seven surveyed measures. An association between prevention knowledge and prevention behaviors was observed when participants with good knowledge showed 2.15 times-higher odds of good behaviors (95%CI: 1.52, 3.04, p-value<0.001) compared to those with insufficient knowledge. Gender, occupation, accommodation, living with family or friends, comorbidities, and history of COVID-19 -related isolation were associated with good behaviors (adjusted p-value <0.05).

Conclusions: The percentage of knowledge and the compliance rate for COVID-19 prevention measures is low, and there is a positive association between prevention knowledge and good behaviors. Therefore, communication programs to improve the community's knowledge and to increase good practice rates are necessary and urgent. 

Graphical abstract