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Health Literacy, Perceived Threat, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia

Authors Alatawi Y, Alshehri FS, Alhifany AA, Alharbi A, Alghamdi BS

Received 4 November 2020

Accepted for publication 17 December 2020

Published 29 December 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 3147—3153


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Yasser Alatawi,1 Fahad S Alshehri,2 Abdullah A Alhifany,3 Adnan Alharbi,3 Badrah S Alghamdi4

1Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Tabuk, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Physiology, Neuroscience Unit, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Fahad S Alshehri
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Umm Al‑Qura University, Al‑Abidiyya, Makkah 21955, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 542166571

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of and factors associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional online survey that targeted adults over the age of 18 residing in Saudi Arabia. The data collection began June 1, 2020 and continued for four weeks. The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Specific, the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire version BIP-Q5, and a 9-item health literacy measure were used.
Results: There were 1249 participants, of which 62.21% were under the age of 34. The prevalence of PTSD was 19.5% among all participants. The results showed that both the perception of threat (OR =1.17, 95% CI = 1.13− 1.19) and health literacy (OR =0.97, 95% CI = 0.95− 0.99) were associated with PTSD symptoms.
Conclusion: This study highlights important findings that the level of an individual’s perception of threat and health literacy is associated with symptoms of PTSD. Thus, an understanding of these constructs in the target population will enable the development of better measures designed to reduce the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, Saudi Arabia, posttraumatic stress disorder, perception, health literacy

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