Perception of medical undergraduate students regarding their readiness to volunteer in relief activities during the COVID-19 pandemic: A multi-institutional study carried out in South India

Nitin Joseph, Manasi Manasvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. India is currently experiencing a shortage of medical personnel to provide COVID-19 relief services among the population. The government came up with a proposal of involving final-year medical students to solve this problem. However, before initiating any such measures, the perspectives of medical students towards this initiative need to be assessed. Objectives. To assess the perception of medical students regarding their self-preparedness and willingness to volunteer in COVID-19 relief activities. Material and methods. This was a cross-sectional study conducted among medical undergraduate students in their third and fourth year at two private medical colleges. Data was collected using a semi-structured Google Form. The perceptions of the participants were assessed using a five-point Likert scale. Results. The mean age of the 204 participants was 21.6 ± 1.1 years. Only 37 (18.1%) participants had good perception regarding their self-preparedness. As many as 116 (56.9%) participants strongly agreed/agreed, while 39 (19.1%) strongly disagreed/disagreed about their willingness to volunteer in COVID-19 relief activities. The most common reason for agreement among the participants was to make up for the current shortage of healthcare professionals, while for disagreement, it was the feeling of not being fully qualified. Third year students reported better self-preparedness (p = 0.0371). Good perception regarding self-preparedness was associated with strong agreement or agreement about a willingness to involve themselves in COVID-19 relief activities (p = 0.0123). Conclusions. Although more than half of the participants were willing to volunteer, only one-fifth of the participants had good perception regarding their self-preparedness to offer relief services. Thus there is a need for training before involving final-year medical students in COVID-19 relief activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-125
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Medicine and Primary Care Review
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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