Background: Coronavirus has spread to almost every country since its emergence in Wuhan, China and countries have been adopted an array of measures to control the rapid spread of the epidemic. Here, we aimed to assess the person's knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) toward the COVID-19 epidemic in Southeast and South Asia applying the mixed study design (cross-sectional and systematic review).
Methods: In the cross-sectional study, 743 respondents' socio-demographic and KAP-related information was collected through an online population-based survey from the Malaysian population. In the systematic review, the database PubMed, Web of Science and Google Scholar search engine were searched and related published articles from South and Southeast Asia were included. Frequency distribution, Chi-square association test and binary logistic regression were fitted using cross-sectional data whereas random effect model and study bias were performed in meta-analysis. We used 95% confidence interval and P <0.05 as statistical significances.
Results: The prevalence of good knowledge, positive attitude and frequent practice toward COVID-19 epidemic were 52.6%, 51.8% and 57.1%, respectively, obtained by cross-sectional data analysis. The KAP prevalence were ranged from 26.53% (Thailand) to 95.4% (Nepal); 59.3% (Turkey) to 92.5% (Pakistan); and 50.2 (Turkey) to 97% (Afghanistan), respectively, obtained by 18 studies included in the meta-analysis. The prevalence of KAP was higher [84% vs. 79%, Pheterogeneity <0.001; 83% vs. 80%, Pheterogeneity <0.001; 85% vs. 83%, Pheterogeneity <0.001] in South Asia compared to Southeast Asia, obtained by subgroup analysis. Some studies reported mean level instead of the proportion of the KAP where the score varied from 8.15-13.14; 2.33-33.0; and 1.97-31.03, respectively. Having more knowledge and attitude were encouraged more likely to practice toward COVID-19. Study suggests age, gender, education, place of residence and occupation as the most frequent significant risk factors of KAP toward COVID-19.
Conclusion: The study sufficiently informs how other countries in Southeast and South Asia enriches their KAP behaviors during the pandemic which may help health professionals and policymakers to develop targeted interventions and effective practices.
Keywords: COVID–19; Southeast and South Asia; attitude; knowledge; practice.
Copyright © 2022 Rahman, Marzo, Chowdhury, Qalati, Hasan, Paul, Abid, Sheferaw, Mariadass, Chandran, Kanan, Firdaus, Sabarin and Lin.