Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Rachel Culbreth

Second Advisor

Douglas Gardenhire

Third Advisor

Laryssa Frederick

Abstract

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 3 million people across the world, with more than 160 million cases reported. Respiratory therapists (RTs) play an important role in the treatment of COVID-19, including managing ventilators and administering breathing treatments. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate attitudes, practices, and perceptions about COVID-19 disease and the COVID-19 vaccine among respiratory therapists in Saudi Arabia. METHODS: The study utilized an online, cross-sectional survey with 36 questions administered to a convenience sample of RTs in Saudi Arabia. The survey is divided into five sections: attitudes, practices, perceptions, vaccination questions toward COVID-19 and demographics questions. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent samples t-test, and one-way ANOVA tests. A significance level was set at 0.05. All analyses were performed in SPSS version 27. RESULTS: The total sample consisted of 38 respiratory therapists consisting of three education levels: associate's degree (n=2, 5.3%), bachelor's degree (n=32, 84.2%), and master's degree (n=4, 10.5%). The majority of the participants were males (66 %, n=25), while the females comprised 34 % (n=13). The participants in the study had a mean age of 29.81 (SD ± 6.0). The mean and S.D. of experience as a respiratory therapist were (2.24, ±1.26). The respondents who worked in a public hospital were 27 (71.1%), while those in private hospitals were 11(28.9%). Thirty-six (94.7%) of the participant considered frontline providers, and only two (5.3%) participants declared that they were not. In this study, 32 out of 38 respiratory therapists had previously treated COVID-19 patients in Saudi Arabia. There were no statistically significant differences between male and female respondents in the attitude subscales. The statistically significant findings were found between male and female respondents in the practice subscales. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the majority of respiratory therapists in Saudi Arabia showed positive attitudes and adequate practices regarding COVID-19 prevention and treatment. More studies are needed to assess the correlates of negative COVID-19 perceptions and vaccination among high-priority populations.

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