Background: Corticosteroid therapy has been associated with detrimental consequences such as cardiovascular problems and immunosuppression.
Aims & objectives: This study aimed to assess the public knowledge, attitudes, and practice surrounding the use of corticosteroids in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out among the general population of the UAE from March to July 2022. A self-administered online survey was used, which included questions about participants’ socio-demographics, health status, and knowledge regarding corticosteroids. Eligibility criteria included participants aged>18 years or older and could read and respond to the questionnaire.
Results: The study involved 583 participants, where the majority were mostly males living in urban areas. Nearly half had a bachelor’s degree, and 36.9% worked in the health sector. Around 55.0% of the participants had a high level of knowledge about corticosteroids, while more than half had a negative attitude towards them. The most frequently reported reason for using corticosteroids was dermatological diseases. Males with lower education levels, and who had not been infected with COVID-19 had lower odds of having a high level of knowledge about corticosteroids. Furthermore, older participants and those with a lower education level had a more negative attitude towards corticosteroids.
Conclusions: This study showed gaps in knowledge and unfavorable attitude toward use of corticosteroids. Age, gender, working field, education level, residential area, having a chronic disease, being infected with COVID-19, and knowledge level were significantly associated with knowledge, attitude, and/or practice of corticosteroid use.
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