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Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Cancer Patients Towards COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Study in Central Nepal

Authors Sah GS, Shrestha G, Dhakal A, Mulmi R, Sapkota A, Poudel S

Received 13 July 2020

Accepted for publication 1 October 2020

Published 15 October 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 10173—10180


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Harikrishna Nakshatri

Guru Sharan Sah,1,* Gambhir Shrestha,2,* Aayush Dhakal,3 Rashmi Mulmi,4 Ashok Sapkota,1 Shivaji Poudel5

1Department of Medical Oncology, B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital, Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal; 2Department of Community Medicine, Maharajgunj Medical Campus, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal; 3Bharatpur Central Hospital, Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal; 4Department of Cancer Prevention, Control and Research, B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital, Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal; 5Department of Radiation Oncology, B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital, Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Gambhir Shrestha Department of Community Medicine
Maharajgunj Medical Campus, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel +977 9841654909
Email [email protected]

Introduction: Cancer patients are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection as they are highly immunocompromised. The patients’ adherence to control measures is affected by their knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) towards COVID-19. This study assesses the KAP towards COVID-19 among the admitted cancer patients in Nepal and is first of its kind.
Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the 224 admitted cancer patients in B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital, Chitwan, Nepal, between April 20 and May 20, 2020, which was the early phase of the lockdown due to COVID-19. The study was conducted via face-to-face interviews taking optimum precautions. The research used a semi-structured questionnaire consisting of demographic characteristics, cancer-related information, 14 knowledge items, 4 attitude items, and 10 practice items. Independent sample t-tests and one-way analysis of variance were used to assess the association of knowledge with demographic characteristics.
Results: The overall correct response rate of the knowledge component of the questionnaire was 79.4%. Most of the participants (89.7%) had a positive attitude towards accepting isolation if they had the COVID-19 infection. Only 4.5% reported that they had visited the crowded places recently. More than 98% of the patients were found to be compliant with the recommended preventive behaviors such as using the face mask, avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, washing the hands more than usual, and avoiding close contact with other patients or the caretakers not using the face masks. A total of 21.9% of respondents were using the same face mask for more than 3 days. Male gender, younger age group, and higher education were the positive predictors of knowledge regarding COVID-19.
Conclusion: The overwhelming majority of the cancer patients had a good knowledge of COVID-19 and maintained positive attitudes and practice towards it. When tailored health education programs are planned, age, gender, and educational status should be taken into a consideration.

Keywords: COVID-19, neoplasms, knowledge, attitudes and practice, Nepal

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