INTRODUCTION: Data regarding knowledge and attitude about COVID-19, the prevalence of acceptance of hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis and anxiety amidst COVID-19 pandemic among health care students/professionals in India is scarce . MATERIAL AND
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted during May 2020, using an online survey via Google forms . A self-administered validated structured questionnaire was applied, which comprised 28 questions among health care students/professionals at a tertiary care centrein North India .
RESULTS: A total of 956 respondents were included (10.2% nurses , 45.2% medical students , 24.3% paramedical students , 11.7% resident doctors and 8.6% consultant doctors). Overall knowledge score was 9.3/15; the highest for preventive practices (4/5), followed by clinical knowledge (2.7/5) and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) (2.6/5). The overall score was the highest in consultant doctors (10.8) while the lowest in nurses (8.5) and paramedical students (8.4) (p <0.001). Less than half of the respondents had knowledge about the correct sequence of doffing PPE and the use of N95 mask . About 21.8% of the participants experienced moderate to severe anxiety; higher among nurses (38 %), followed by paramedical students (29.3 %); and anxiety was higher when knowledge score was low (27.6% vs 14.7 %); both factors were independent predictors on multivariate analysis (p <0.001). Only 18.1% of the respondents applied HCQ prophylaxis - the highest proportion constituted consultants (42.7 %), and the least - paramedical students (5.2 %); (p <0.001) and HCQ use was more frequently used if they had a family member of extreme age group at home (23.3% vs 12.2% ; p <0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The knowledge about correct PPE usage is low among all groups of HCWs and students, and there is a high prevalence of anxiety due to COVID-19 . The lower COVID-19 knowledge scores were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of anxiety and inadequate use of HCQ prophylaxis . The appliance of HCQ prophylaxis had no significant association with anxiety levels of the respondents.