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Health Care Students’ Knowledge of and Attitudes, Beliefs, and Practices Toward the French COVID-19 App: Cross-sectional Questionnaire Study

Authors
  • Montagni, Ilaria1
  • Roussel, Nicolas2
  • Thiébaut, Rodolphe1, 2, 3
  • Tzourio, Christophe1, 3
  • 1 Bordeaux University, INSERM, Bordeaux , (France)
  • 2 Bordeaux University, Bordeaux , (France)
  • 3 Hospital Center Bordeaux University, Bordeaux , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Medical Internet Research
Publisher
JMIR Publications Inc.
Publication Date
Mar 03, 2021
Volume
23
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2196/26399
PMID: 33566793
PMCID: PMC7931825
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Background Many countries worldwide have developed mobile phone apps capable of supporting instantaneous contact tracing to control the COVID-19 pandemic. In France, a few people have downloaded and are using the StopCovid contact tracing app. Students in the health domain are of particular concern in terms of app uptake. Exploring their use and opinions about the app can inform improvements and diffusion of StopCovid among young people. Objective The aim of this study is to investigate health care students’ knowledge of and attitudes, beliefs, and practices (KABP) toward the StopCovid app. Methods A field survey was conducted among 318 students at the health sciences campus of the University of Bordeaux, France, between September 25 and October 16, 2020. A quota sampling method was used, and descriptive statistics and univariate analyses were performed. Results Of the 318 respondents, 77.3% (n=246) had heard about the app, but only 11.3% (n=36) had downloaded it, and 4.7% (n=15) were still using it at the time of the survey. Among the 210 participants who had heard about the app but did not download it, the main reasons for not using the app were a belief that it was not effective given its limited diffusion (n=37, 17.6%), a lack of interest (n=37, 17.6%), and distrust in the data security and fear of being geolocated (n=33, 15.7%). Among the 72 students who had not heard of the app and were given a brief description of its functioning and confidentiality policy, 52.7% (n=38) said they would use it. Participants reported that the main solution for increasing the use of the app would be better communication about it (227/318, 71.4%). Conclusions Even among health students, the contact tracing app was poorly used. The findings suggest that improved communication about its advantages and simplicity of use as well as clarifying false beliefs about it could help improve uptake.

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