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J Family Community Med. 2019 Sep-Dec;26(3):173-180. doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_4_19.

Community's compliance with measures for the prevention of respiratory infections in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Research Chair of Health Education and Health Promotion, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
2
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
3
College of Medicine, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
4
College of Medicine, AlMaarefa University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acute respiratory tract infections are the most common causes of both morbidity and mortality worldwid, and the management and prevention of acute respiratory infections is a global problem, especially in developing countries. This study sought to assess the community's compliance and practice of measures for the prevention of respiratory infections and discover their source of health information.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was carried out in the five biggest shopping malls in Riyadh city in July 2014. The required sample size was 980 persons aged 15 or older, with 196 from each of the five biggest shopping malls from each of the five geographic areas of Riyadh. Data was collected by face-to-face interview using standardised questionnaire, and analyzed using SPSS.

RESULTS:

Overall, 48.3% of the participants thought that they were susceptible to any of the respiratory infections of pandemic influenza; 59.7% always washed their hands with water and soap and 34.8% used antibacterial soap. About 29% reported avoiding touching their eyes, noses, and mouths directly with their hands; 63.5% covered their noses and mouths with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. A substantial number said they "never" shared their personal stuff, including towels (70.5%) and utensils (49.0%) with others. Only 21.2% avoided crowded places or wore a mask (9.1%) in such a situation. A high proportion (62.8%) did not take the seasonal flu vaccine. The most common sources of health information included television/radio (47.9%), social media (29.4%), and friends/family (28.1%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Health authorities should seize every opportunity to prevent respiratory infections by adopting all evidence-based infection control measures to improve public awareness, attitude, and practice.

KEYWORDS:

Compliance; coronavirus; infection control; pandemic flu; respiratory infection

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