Background: The health impacts of COVID-19 are not evenly distributed in societies. Chronic patients are highly affected and develop dangerous symptoms of COVID-19. Understanding their information seeking about COVID-19 may help to improve the effectiveness of public health strategies in the future, the adoption of safety measures, and minimize the spread of the pandemic. However, there is little evidence on information seeking specifically on COVID-19 in this study setting. Therefore, this study aimed to assess information seeking about COVID-19 and associated factors among chronic patients.
Method: An institutional-based cross-sectional study supplemented with qualitative data was conducted at Bahir Dar city public hospitals in Northwest Ethiopia from April 8 to June 15, 2021. A total of 423 chronic patients were selected using systematic random sampling techniques with an interval of 5. Bi-variable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was fitted to identify factors associated with information seeking about COVID-19. A p-value < 0.05 was used to declare statistical significance. Qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic approach. Finally, it was triangulated with quantitative findings.
Result: The proportion of information seeking about COVID-19 among chronic patients was 44.0% (95% CI = 39.0, 49.0). Being living in urban [AOR = 4.4, 95% CI (2.01, 9.58)], having high perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 [AOR = 3.4, 95%CI (1.98, 5.70)], having high perceived severity to COVID-19 [AOR = 1.7, 95%CI (1.04, 2.91)], having high self-efficacy to COVID-19 [AOR = 4.3, 95%CI (2.52, 7.34)], and having adequate health literacy [AOR = 1.8, 95%CI (1.10, 3.03)] were significant factors associated with information-seeking about COVID-19.
Conclusion: The overall proportion of information seeking about COVID-19 among chronic patients was low. Thus, health promotion programs should emphasize the chronic patients living in a rural area; enhance perceived risk and severity of COVID-19, enhancing self-efficacy and health literacy interventions to improve information seeking.