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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 92-99

Beliefs Related to COVID-19 Infection: A Cross-Sectional Web-Based Survey from India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_7_21

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Aim: To evaluate the prevalence of specific beliefs held by people with respect to SARS-2-CoV (COVID-19) infection. Study Design: Web-based cross-sectional survey by using nonprobability snow-balling sampling technique. Methodology: The survey-specific questionnaire designed based on the review of literature on the prevailing myths/beliefs was circulated by an online cross-sectional survey through the SurveyMonkey® platform using the WhatsApp®, both individually and through the WhatsApp groups, by using a nonprobability snow-balling sampling technique. Results: 1695 people participated in the survey, of which 1636 responses were found to be complete and were analyzed. The mean age of the participants was 34.55 years, and two-thirds of the participants were males (n = 1092). About one-third of the participants were educated up to graduation (32.1%), and about one-fifth were healthcare workers. Incorrect beliefs related to various preventive aspects, modes of spread of infection, and treatments were present in a significant proportion of people, with a wide variation for specific issues. When the number of participants with at least one incorrect belief related to any of the aspects of COVID-19 infection was evaluated, except for four participants, all the participants reported at least one incorrect belief. Male and female participants differed significantly in few beliefs. Conclusions: This survey highlights a widespread prevalence of myths/misconceptions in society regarding various aspects of COVID-19 infection, which warrants more focus on awareness programs.

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