METHODS: The observational study (#NCT04367337) enrolled 6064 adults residing in Australia, Canada, China, France, Gambia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, and Switzerland. Data on handwashing adherence across 8 situations (indicated in the WHO guidelines) were collected via an online survey (March-July 2020). Individual-level handwashing data were matched with the date- and country-specific values of the 6 indices of the trajectory of COVID-19 pandemic, obtained from the WHO daily reports.
RESULTS: Multilevel regression models indicated a negative association between both accumulation of the total cases of COVID-19 morbidity (B = -.041, SE = .013, p = .013) and mortality (B = -.036, SE = .014 p = .002) and handwashing. Higher levels of total COVID-related morbidity and mortality were related to lower handwashing adherence. However, increases in recent cases of COVID-19 morbidity (B = .014, SE = .007, p = .035) and mortality (B = .022, SE = .009, p = .015) were associated with higher levels of handwashing adherence. Analyses controlled for participants' COVID-19-related situation (their exposure to information about handwashing, being a healthcare professional), sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, marital status), and country-level variables (strictness of containment and health policies, human development index). The models explained 14-20% of the variance in handwashing adherence.
CONCLUSIONS: To better explain levels of protective behaviors such as handwashing, future research should account for indicators of the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials.Gov, # NCT04367337.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We compared the LC scores of three previous years with those of the SBCE and studied the feedback of the three stakeholders: students, examiners, and simulated patients (SPs), regarding their experience with SBCE and the suitability of SBCE as an alternative for LC in future examinations.
RESULTS: The SBCE scores were higher than those of the LC. Most of the examiners and students were not in favour of SBCE replacing LC, as such. The SPs were more positive about the proposition. The comments of the three stakeholders brought out the plus and minus points of LC and SBCE, which prompted our proposals to make SBCE more practical for future examinations.
CONCLUSION: Having analysed the feedback of the stakeholders, and the positive and negative aspects of LC and SBCE, it was evident that SBCE needed improvements. We have proposed eight modifications to SBCE to make it a viable alternative for LC.