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Acta Medica Iranica ; 59(12):704-712, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1667848


COVID-19 pandemic obligated applying population-level behavioral modifications to effectively prevent the spread of the disease. This necessitated investigating those measures that determine population behavior. Herein we have studied risk perception and information exposure that are among those determinants in Iran. 402 cases from medical sciences students were enrolled during the last week of September 2020. Using an online questionnaire, risk perception and sources of information about COVID-19 were investigated. Although most students considered COVID-19 preventable, merely a few considered the disease curable. A higher risk was perceived concerning the families compared to themselves. Moreover, most of them believed the prognosis good even in high-risk patients. Social media was the most informative source used;however, health professionals were considered the most reliable. The risk perception was equal between those diagnosed with COVID-19 or had a family member diagnosed compared to those without such exposure in most questions. Also, no significant difference was observed in risk perception between those students with serious underlying medical conditions and those without one regarding most items. Lastly, major and grade were the most significant demographic contributors to the risk perception. Moderate risk was perceived overall among the cases in which major and grade were the only remarkable demographic contributors. Unexpectedly, underlying medical history was not significantly correlated with the perceived risk. Lastly, previous COVID-19 exposure merely altered the curability and preventability perception.