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Factors Affecting Infection Control Behaviors to Prevent COVID-19: An Online Survey of Nursing Students in Anhui, China in March and April 2020

Ting Yuan, Huan Liu, Xiang Dong Li, Hai Rong Liu

School of Nursing, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e925877

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.925877

Available online: 2020-09-16

Published: 2020-10-11

BACKGROUND: The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a major public health challenge all over the world. People’s knowledge, attitudes, and preventive behaviors about diseases affect the degree of adherence to control measures. This study aimed to survey the affecting factors of COVID-19 prevention behavior among nursing students in China.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Six-hundred thirteen nursing students in Anhui, China participated in an online survey from March 30 to April 5, 2020. The survey collected demographic information, electronic health (eHealth) literacy, COVID-19-related knowledge, attitudes, and prevention behavior data using descriptive analysis and multinomial logistic regression to analyze the data.
RESULTS: The mean age of study participants was 20.88 years, of which 31.8% were male (n=613). Television (84.9%) and WeChat (79.6%) were the major sources of their information. Nursing students had good knowledge (14.68±2.83), had positive attitudes (4.03±0.59), had good practices (3.92±0.65), and had basic eHealth literacy (30.45±6.90). Nursing students with higher eHealth literacy (odds ratio [OR]=0.89, P<0.01), good knowledge (OR=0.89, P<0.01), and positive attitudes (OR=0.24, P<0.01) took more preventive behaviors. Students living in the countryside (OR=0.09, P<0.01) and of a young age (OR=1.51, P<0.05) seldom took preventive actions. Men, compared with women, were less likely to take preventive measures. (OR=1.44, P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Good eHealth literacy, good knowledge, and a positive attitude were the most important variables that affected the prevention behavior against COVID-19. Targeted health education should be conducted for male students and students living in the countryside by providing reliable and effective online sources.

Keywords: Attitude, COVID-19, Knowledge, Students, Nursing