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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1664-1667  

Awareness and knowledge of different types of face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic among health-care professionals across Kingdom of Saudi Arabia an original research


1 Department of Dentistry, Ministry of Health, Qasim Armed Forces Hospital, King Khalid Military City, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Dentistry, Qasim Armed Forces Hospital, King Khalid Military City, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Dentistry, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Dentistry, Almana General Hospital, Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Date of Submission16-May-2021
Date of Decision19-May-2021
Date of Acceptance21-May-2021
Date of Web Publication10-Nov-2021

Correspondence Address:
Khadijah Ali Almomen
Ministry of Health
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpbs.jpbs_397_21

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   Abstract 


Introduction: With the attack of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world, many countries have opted for the lockdown for preventing the spread of the virus. There have been many proposals for the prevention at individual level. These include repeated washing of hands, the sanitization, and the usage of the mouth masks. There have been many studies that suggested various types of the mouth masks for the prevention of the infection. Hence, in the present study, we intend to evaluate the knowledge and awareness of the health-care personnel of the different types of the face masks. Materials and Methods: We conducted the present review by the cross sectional survey method. The study is questionnaire based that was done for a period of 6 months. The survey was done by online only. The participation was voluntary and done in the state wide hospitals in the kingdom of the Saudi Arabia. The survey compromised twenty questions that assessed the knowledge and awareness of the health-care personnel of the different types of the face masks. Results: The total number of the participants was 1000. All were aware of the proper usage of the masks. There was noted enough awareness of the types of the masks among the participants. However, the awareness can further be enhanced. Conclusion: At the present condition of the infection rate, there may be a third wave of the pandemic around the world. As it has been shown in many studies that these barriers have prevented the infection rate, the wisdom points toward the prevention of the disease. The awareness has increased among the health care and also the personnel are conscious of the types of the masks. The same can be evaluated for the general public and the method of the mask wear can be appraised.

Keywords: Awareness, COVID19, face mask, health professionals


How to cite this article:
Almomen KA, Alghamdi HA, Ahmad HA, AlJaafar LF, Alawad MS, Alharbi MS, Abaalkhail N. Awareness and knowledge of different types of face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic among health-care professionals across Kingdom of Saudi Arabia an original research. J Pharm Bioall Sci 2021;13, Suppl S2:1664-7

How to cite this URL:
Almomen KA, Alghamdi HA, Ahmad HA, AlJaafar LF, Alawad MS, Alharbi MS, Abaalkhail N. Awareness and knowledge of different types of face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic among health-care professionals across Kingdom of Saudi Arabia an original research. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jun 26];13, Suppl S2:1664-7. Available from: https://www.jpbsonline.org/text.asp?2021/13/6/1664/330128




   Introduction Top


The coronavirus family has been known to infect and simulate the symptoms of the normal cold. These symptoms generally go away in week. However, there are many strains that are lethal and highly infective. One that has last year brought the entire world to halt is the SARS-CoV2 virus.[1] The world has faced the pandemic of the COVID-19 that is also caused by the coronavirus. Howeve, r the pandemic has brought to light the lapses of the government and the public for prevention of the disease. It has also exposed the lower levels of the awareness of the general public as well as the health-care personnel for the prevention of the disease by various preventive measures.[2] The COVID-19 is established to spread by aerosol. The virus is transmitted by either direct or indirect contact with the close proximity. In the infection with this virus, the primary symptoms are similar to common flu like. However, the coronavirus is rapidly transforming and the new variants have different presentations if they infect. The new symptoms include diarrhea, spiking fever, stomach pain, and redness of eyes.[3] The following precautions have been put forward by the world organizations that help in preventing the infection: Avoiding gatherings, maintaining the social distance, the use of the mouth masks, hand sanitization by the soap or the alcohol sanitizers. By following these instructions, the infection by the virus can be avoided. It is clear from these present statements that the mask is an inevitable part of the protocol to follow for the infection prevention. Hence, in the present study, we study we intend to evaluate the knowledge and awareness of the health-care personnel of the different types of the face masks.


   Materials and Methods Top


We conducted the present review by the cross-sectional survey method. The study is questionnaire based that was done for a period of 6 months. After the approval of the ethics committee, the survey was done by online only, to avoid the contact. Various methods such as the WhatApp and other social platforms were used to send the questionnaire. The participation was voluntary and done in the state wide hospitals in the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia. The survey compromised twenty questions that assessed the knowledge and awareness of the health-care personnel of the different types of the face masks. The study was explained to the participants and the doubts were cleared. The consent was taken from the participants. The validation was done by a trial run at five hospitals. Later, all the ambiguous questions were deleted and some were reframed for better understanding. The survey was by the MCQ type of the questions. The scores were given as 2 point for each question. Later, statistical analysis was done after the data were collected employing IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 23 (IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y., USA) P < 0.05 was taken as significant. Analysis of variance was used for calculating significance of study variables among three or more groups of participants, while Student's t-test was employed to calculate significance among the two groups.


   Results Top


The total number of the participants that were included in the study was 1000. Two points were allotted to each question. Making in the present the total score was 40. We obtained the score of 35 points as the average, the highest was 36, and the median obtained was 17. The distribution of the scores is depicted in [Figure 1]. The following questions were left unanswered by the participants: The brand of the mouth mask, the proper method of wearing the mouth mask, the disposal of the various masks, and the amount of the protection in the various types of the masks. The majority of the participants in our study were doctors and nurses. The gender distribution was equal. The age group ranged from 27 to 65. 28% participants were postgraduates in their fields. Majority were undergraduates. It was noted that majority of the participants knew the protocol to dispose the used masks. It was noted in our study that the participants did not know how to use the respirators and reuse regime. The questions and the percentage of the participants answering the survey are given in [Table 1].
Figure 1: Dissemination of scores in the study participants

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Table 1: The questionnaire to assess the knowledge

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   Discussion Top


With the growing awareness of the personal hygiene measures, the usage of the masks has increased. Various types of the masks have flooded the markets. However, there is no evidence to suggest that wearing the masks will prevent the COVID-19 totally. There are various studies that support the usage of the specific mask. The masks commonly available in the market are the cloth, N95, KN95 respirators, Gas masks, surgical masks, plastic masks, homemade cloth masks, and three and two layered masks. The most commonly used masks are the surgical, N95, and the cloth mask. In this, the most commonly used by the medical staff is the surgical mask. However, the medical personnel may be not aware of the different kinds of the masks. Hence, we formulated a questionnaire survey that is made of the twenty questions to understand the knowledge of the mask types. The study was conducted in a large amount of the participants of 1000, who are the staff at various hospitals. For the distribution of the demographics, almost equal distribution of the gender was seen in the study. The age ranged from 27% to 65. 28% participants were postgraduates in their fields. Majority were undergraduates. From our study, it was evident that the staff knew how to wear and remove the masks. Majority of medical health professionals were aware of the types of the masks. More than half of the participants were aware of the double masking that is recently suggested as an effective method of the prevention than the single mask method. It was noted that majority of the participants knew the protocol to dispose the used masks. It was noted in our study that the participants did not know how to use the respirators and reuse regimen. It was evident from our study that surgical masks were more used than the other types of the masks. The research has shown an effective control of infection with the three layered surgical masks. Similar observations were seen in the previous studies.[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] The surgical mask is made of three layers, with a hydrophobic middle layer. The nose pin is provided that can be manipulated to fit the seal. The masks can be easily worn and removed. Hence these are the most preferred. The same is reflected in our study.[4] We obtained the score of 35 points as the average, the highest was 36, and the median obtained was 17. The study only indicates the awareness of the participants. There was some deficit of the knowledge with respect to the high end masks such as respirators. The training for the usage of these respirators has to be provided by the management or by the government agencies. The cloth masks and the surgical masks are comparable to the ease of the wearing, however, the filtration ability is better than the cloth masks.[10] The material polypropylene is used in the making of the surgical masks, which prevents the moisture, and the smaller particle entry.[5] The quality of the masks has to be monitored by the government agencies to ensure proper manufacturing. It was opined by many previous studies that the wearing of the respirators is difficult. Similar observations were made in our study. The same was seen in the study of Schaffner where they observed that the Respirator was difficult to wear and breathe.[6] Furthermore, he proposed that there are no proper instructions and guidance for the public to use these.[10],[11],[12],[13] It was observed in the recent data that the infection rate of the virus was lower in some countries as they have been wearing masks even before the pandemic, and it was considered a accepted custom.[7] The observations of our study shows that medical health care professionals knowledge is adequate. However, the level of the knowledge of the types of the masks among the general public has to be assessed. There was one limitation in our study. The study was self-reported and was done in a single region. Hence, it cannot be generalized to the medical professionals of other regions.


   Conclusion Top


The mask is an effective method of the control of the infection spread. In our study, the medical health-care professionals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had a good knowledge of the mask types. The knowledge can be further improved with respect to the respirators. Government should implement various programs to bring awareness among the public about the proper usage of the mask.

Acknowledgment

We authors would like to whole heartedly thank and acknowledge Dr. Suhael Ahmed, Department of oral and maxillofacial surgery, Riyadh elm university, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for support and guidance during our research work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Available from: https://www.webmd.com/lung/coronavirus. [Last accessed on 2021 Apr 19].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public. [Last accessed on 2021 May 25].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
4.
5.
Available from: https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/other/how-surgical-masks-are-made. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 13].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
7.
8.
Cheng KK, Lam TH, Leung CC. Wearing face masks in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic: Altruism and solidarity; 2020. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30918-1.Available from: https://www.thelancet.com.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Rose G. Sick individuals and sick populations. Int J Epidemiol 1985;14:32-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Cowling BJ, Ali ST, Ng TW, Tsang TK, Li JC, Fong MW, et al. Impact assessment of non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 and influenza in Hong Kong: An observational study. Lancet Public Health 2020;5:e279-88.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Normile D. Coronavirus Cases have Dropped Sharply in South Korea. What's the Secret to Its Success? Science; 2020. Available from: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/coronavirus-cases-have-dropped-sharplysouth-korea-whats-secret-its-success. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 17].  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. NIH Developing Therapeutics and Vaccines for Coronaviruses; 2020. Available from: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/coronaviruses-therapeutics-vaccines. [Last accessed on 2020 Jul 26].  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Feng S, Shen C, Xia N, Song W, Fan M, Cowling BJ. Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet Respir Med 2020;8:434-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
    


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