Face Mask Use and Social Distancing Attitude of Healthcare Students: A Multi-Disciplinary Study

Jonas Preposi Cruz, Ejercito Mangawa Balay-Odao, Junel Bryan Bajet, Jennifer Mesde, Khalaf Alotaibi, Ahmed Almogairi, Nahed Alquwez, Mohammed Alqahtani, Ahmed Mansour Almansour, Sharifa Alasiry, Jazi Shaydied Alotaibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This multi-disciplinary, cross-sectional, and descriptive study investigated health care students’ face mask use knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) and social distancing attitudes. The study was carried out from October to December 2021 and surveyed 543 health care students selected via convenience sampling from the three Shaqra University campuses in Saudi Arabia. Standard multiple linear regressions were conducted on face mask use KAP and social distancing attitude to identify their significant associated factors. The students in this study had poor knowledge and a neutral attitude towards and modest use practices of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being female, being a nursing student, and having greater self-reported COVID-19-prevention knowledge were related to higher levels of face mask use knowledge. Having higher face mask use knowledge was linked to better attitude and practice. Knowledge of COVID-19 and its prevention and decreased COVID-19 risk perception were associated with better face mask use practices. The students had more positive than negative attitudes toward social distancing. Having known someone who was infected by the virus, lower risk perception, and better face mask use practices were associated with more positive social distancing attitudes. The findings imply the need to ensure that future health care practitioners are knowledgeable, have a positive attitude and good practices concerning face mask use, and have positive attitudes toward social distancing. The study implications are relevant for health care education in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number901
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • COVID-19
  • face mask use
  • medicine
  • nursing
  • pharmacy
  • social distancing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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