Perceived risk of covid-19 and related factors among university students in ethiopia during school reopening

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Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed a great threat to the public. University students living in school compound with groups and sharing a common cafeteria are more susceptible to contract and spread the virus. Risk perception multiplies fear and anxiety that triggers precautionary action. However, research is scant in this particular field. Objective: To assess the perceived risk of COVID-19 and its associated factors among University Students in Northeast Ethiopia during school reopening. Methods: Institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 682 Debre Berhan University students from December 1–15, 2020, when students just get back to school. Data was collected using a structured and pre-tested questionnaire. A multistage sampling technique was used to select study subjects. Data were cleaned and entered into Epi-Data version 4.6 and exported to SPSS version 25 software for analysis. Descriptive statistics, bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis were run to summarize the results. Results: The overall perceived risk of COVID-19 was 296 (43.4%), 95% CI (39.4–47.4). Age (AOR (CI) =3.27 (1.87–5.71), open relationship (AOR (CI) =3.17 (1.73–5.79), fathers’ education (AOR (CI) =2.29 (1.31–4.02), having diabetes (AOR (CI) =2.64 (1.15–6.07), and information source from ministry of health (MOH) (AOR (CI) =1.87 (1.27–2.75) had significantly high-risk perception. However, students who use Facebook (AOR (CI) =0.57 (0.39–0.82) and Websites/ articles (AOR (CI) =0.14 (0.06–0.34) had significantly low-risk perception. Television (59.8%) and Telegram (66.6%) were the primary sources of information, while the World Health Organization (68.3%) was the most trusted source of information. Conclusion: University students perceived a low risk towards COVID-19 pandemics at the time of school resumption. It was influenced by students’ demographic characteristics, comorbidities, social media, and information sources. The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education should properly promote risk communication among university students.




Tadese, M., Haile, A. B., Moltot, T., & Silesh, M. (2021). Perceived risk of covid-19 and related factors among university students in ethiopia during school reopening. Infection and Drug Resistance, 14, 953–961.

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