Background: The risk perception of the COVID-19 disease has a direct impact on vulnerability and preventive behaviors. Considering the special position of medical students in society, this research aims to assess the risk perception among medical students.
Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the medical students’ risk perception in regard to COVID-19 Diseases.
Methods: A descriptive-analytical study was conducted in 2020-2021 through an online self-report questionnaire. The data were collected by the Iranian questionnaire on COVID-19-associated risk perception. The questionnaire consisted of two parts the demographics (11 options) and a part for the COVID-19-related risk perception (20 options). The questionnaire included the dimensions of the cognitive factors (5 items), beliefs (6 items), political factors (4 items), social factors (3 items), and cultural factors (2 items). Scoring was done on a 5-point Likert scale (1=Absolutely disagree to 5=Absolutely agree).
Results: A total of 392 students completed the COVID-19-associated risk perception questionnaire. Undergraduates with 278 (71.6%) comprised the majority of the students participating in the study, 237 (60.6%) had the experience of being infected with COVID-19 disease, 262 (66.8%) of the students participated in taking care of the COVID-19 patients, and 242 (61.7%) of the students experienced the COVID-19 incurred death of friends and relatives. The majority of the students, 268 (68.4%) were ranked at the moderate level in terms of the student risk perception of COVID-19. The total mean score of the students' risk perception was 72.98 ± 6.55. Moreover, cognitive dimension was the highest mean score of the risk perception dimensions among the students.
Conclusion: The medical students' risk perception of COVID-19 disease was ranked moderate. Considering the main role of medical students in taking care of hospitalized patients and preventing the disease from spreading in the community, the managers of the educational system are required to plan for promoting the students' risk perception.
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