OBJECTIVES: In our study, we aimed to describe and correlate the level of knowledge and attitude with the level of compliance with personal hygiene and physical distancing practices among Asian countries in the early phase of pandemic.
METHODS: A multinational cross-sectional study was carried out using electronic surveys between May and June 2020 across 14 geographical areas. Subjects aged 21 years and above were invited to participate through social media, word of mouth and electronic mail.
RESULTS: Among the 2574 responses obtained, 762 (29.6%) participants were from East Asia and 1812 (70.4%) were from Southeast Asia (SEA). A greater proportion of participants from SEA will practise physical distancing as long as it takes (72.8% vs 60.6%). Having safe distancing practices such as standing more than 1 or 2 m apart (AdjOR 5.09 95% CI (1.08 to 24.01)) or more than 3 or 4 m apart (AdjOR 7.05 95% CI (1.32 to 37.67)), wearing a mask when they had influenza-like symptoms before the COVID-19 pandemic, preferring online news channels such as online news websites/applications (AdjOR 1.73 95% CI (1.21 to 2.49)) and social media (AdjOR 1.68 95% CI (1.13 to 2.50) as sources of obtaining information about COVID-19 and high psychological well-being (AdjOR 1.39 95% CI (1.04 to 1.87)) were independent factors associated with high compliance.
CONCLUSIONS: We found factors associated with high compliance behaviour against COVID-19 in the early phase of pandemic and it will be useful to consider them in risk assessment, communication and pandemic preparedness.
METHODS: A structured questionnaire was mailed in 2008, 2011 and 2014 to senior medical physicists representing 23 countries. The questionnaire covers 7 themes: education and training including certification; staffing; typical tasks; professional organisations; resources; research and teaching; job satisfaction.
RESULTS: Across all surveys the response rate was >85% with the replies representing practice affecting more than half of the world's population. The expectation of ROMP qualifications (MSc and between 1 and 3years of clinical experience) has not changed much over the years. However, compared to 2008, the number of medical physicists in many countries has doubled. Formal professional certification is only available in a small number of countries. The number of experienced ROMPs is small in particular in low and middle income countries. The increase in staff numbers from 2008 to 2014 is matched by a similar increase in the number of treatment units which is accompanied by an increase in treatment complexity. Many ROMPs are required to work overtime and not many find time for research. Resource availability has only improved marginally and ROMPs still feel generally overworked, but professional recognition, while varying widely, appears to be improving slowly.
CONCLUSION: While number of physicists and complexity of treatment techniques and technologies have increased significantly, ROMP practice remains essentially unchanged over the last 6years in the Asia Pacific Region.