Physicians’ Preparedness to Protect Themselves against COVID-19 during the Unlock Phase in India: An Online Survey

  • Samir Shah DCH, Director & Consultant Paediatrician, Samir Hospital, Lakdipul, Dandia Bazar, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
  • Tushar Shah Director, Department of Clinical Research, KGP Children Hospital, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
  • Kalpita Shringarpure Assistant Professor, Department of PSM, Medical College Baroda, Vinoba Bhave Road, Anandpura, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
  • Amir Maroof Khan Professor, Department of Community Medicine, UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India.
Keywords: Social Distancing, Masks, Personal Protective Equipment, Health Facilities, COVID-19


Introduction: Physicians, being at the forefront of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, were more susceptible to COVID-19 infection. However, there are hardly any studies which document their preparedness to protect
themselves from getting infected.
Objectives: To assess the preparedness of physicians to protect themselves from COVID-19 during the post-lockdown unlock phases 3.0 and 4.0 in India and its association with work-related and sociodemographic factors
Methods: An online survey was conducted among physicians, using a pre-tested and pre-validated questionnaire shared through WhatsApp and E-mail between August 14 and October 17, 2020. It consisted of
questions regarding socio-demographic and work-related characteristics. COVID-19 preparedness was assessed using a seven-item questionnaire, with each response on a seven point Likert scale. A score of 7 out of 14
was considered adequate for COVID-19 preparedness. The association between COVID-19 preparedness and work-related characteristics was explored using chi-square tests. Logistic regression analysis was carried
out to find the independent predictors of COVID-19 preparedness.
Results: Out of the 757 responses received, 79% of the physicians were found to be prepared against COVID-19. Majority of the respondents (77.5%, 587/757) were men and 28.2% (213/757) of the subjects were
in the age group of 40–50 years. Around one-fifth (21.7%, 164/757) of the physicians perceived being protected from acquiring COVID-19 infection and 47.6% (360/757) were anxious about contracting the infection. Bivariate analysis showed that a higher age, more years of experience, and working in a private set-up were associated with better COVID-19 preparedness among the physicians.
Conclusion: Majority of physicians took steps to be prepared for selfprotection from COVID-19. Physicians working in private facilities were more prepared than those in government health facilities.


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