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Assessment of the Awareness, Perception, Attitudes, and Preparedness of Health-care Professionals Potentially Exposed to COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates

Authors Dalky HF, Ghader N, Al Kuwari M, Alnajar M, Ismaile S, Almalik M, Shudifat R, Sanad S, Al-Nsair N, Al Matrooshi F

Received 27 August 2020

Accepted for publication 25 September 2020

Published 15 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 91—102

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S278479

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Heyam F Dalky,1,2 Nariman Ghader,3 Muna Al Kuwari,4 Malek Alnajar,5 Samantha Ismaile,5 Mona Almalik,5,6 Raed Shudifat,5 Sarah Sanad,5 Nezam Al-Nsair,7 Fatima Al Matrooshi8

1Psychiatric Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences/Nursing Department, Higher Colleges of Technology, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; 2Psychiatric Mental Health, Faculty of Nursing, Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan; 3Specialized Care Department, Strategic Planning and Institutional Performance, Ministry of Health and Prevention-HQ, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 4Specialized Care Department, Specialized Care Management, Hospitals Sector, Ministry of Health and Prevention-HQ, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 5Faculty of Health Science/Nursing Department, Higher Colleges of Technology, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; 6Maternal and Child Health Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, University of Mutah, Mu’tah, Jordan; 7Higher Colleges of Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; 8Specialized Care Department, Hospitals Sector, Ministry of Health and Prevention-HQ, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence: Heyam F Dalky
Psychiatric Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences/Nursing Department, Higher Colleges of Technology, PO Box 9747, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Email hdalky@hct.ac.ae

Background: Since COVID-19 surfaced in December 2019, health-care organizations across the globe have struggled to maintain the safety and well-being of health-care professionals (HCPs).
Purpose: This study investigates the HCPs’ general understanding of the health risks of COVID-19 and to what extent they are equipped with the knowledge to protect themselves and others against this contagion.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used a web-based structured questionnaire posted on the UAE government electronic survey portal. A collection of 941 HCPs from diverse general and specialty hospitals in the UAE responded to an electronic participation invite.
Results: Our analysis showed that the majority of HCPs (97.6%) had updated information about COVID-19 modes of transmission, risks of contamination, high-risk groups, and the potential consequences of testing positive. Furthermore, the results of the chi-squared testing revealed that the HCPs’ confidence and vigilance of the COVID-19 threats were significantly increased (p< 0.01) by being experienced, having had infection control training, or/and having undergone COVID-19 education.
Conclusion: We conclude that HCPs have an evidence-based understanding of the ways their own health is at risk while they are performing their duties in hospital setups. Further, the study found that HCPs who undergo special infection control training and who are kept posted on the official updates on COVID-19 are more likely to remain vigilant at all times to minimize the risks to themselves and their patients. Although the generalizability of the study findings should be considered with caution, the results could be generalizable to health-care professionals who received similar COVID-19 related training in the UAE or other regional countries.

Keywords: vigilance, pandemic, attitude, COVID-19, infection control, health-care professionals

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