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Risk communication in COVID-19 pandemic: Perceptions and insights of health-care professionals


1 Clinical tutor, Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, India
3 Prof and HoD, Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, India
4 Junior Resident, Dept of Pathology, SGRD Medical College, Amritsar, India
5 Independent researcher, Department of Community medicine, SGRD Medical College, Amritsar, India
6 Associate Professor, Department of Community medicine, SGRD Medical College, Amritsar, India
7 Resident, Department of Community medicine, SGRD Medical College, Amritsar, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Kumar Yadav,
Associate Professor,Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_325_20

Introduction: Risk communication is a vital component of the management of health-care crisis including the present pandemic. The health-care professionals play an important role in risk communication; however, health-care professionals have been found wanting when it comes to risk communication during any health-care crisis. The doctors/health-care professionals, being the technical personnel, are required to provide the technical information in a nontechnical or laymen language to the relevant authorities, which in turn are expected to share this knowledge to the people at risk. This study attempts to unravel the perceptions of health-care professionals on this important topic concerning public health. Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study was designed for the study question. An online survey was conducted based on Google Forms using snowball sampling technique. The data, collected using a pilot-tested questionnaire, were compiled in MS Excel and analyzed using SPSS software version 23. Requisite permission was taken from the institutional ethic committee. All participants were informed of the voluntary nature of the study, and the data collection was done in an anonymous manner. Results: A majority of participants (61.5%) answered in affirmative when asked if they know what risk communication is and 13 (7.7%) were not aware of it. A majority of the participants (60.9%) perceived risk communication as an exchange of information between health experts and general public, whereas 23 (13.6%) participants felt that risk communication is exchange of information between health experts and other health-care workers. Rumor management was not considered an essential part of risk communication by about half (48.5%) of the participants. Conclusion: We found significant gaps in the knowledge and perception of risk communication in the health-care professionals, which can be attributed to lack of training. Risk communication needs to be incorporated as a part of formal medical education to plug this gap.


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    -  Yadav AK
    -  Kunte R
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