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Mennatulla Omar 1 Article
Voluntary testing for COVID-19: perceptions and utilization among the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia
Ehab A. Abo-Ali, Ahmed Mousa, Rania Hussien, Shahad Mousa, Shayma Al-Rubaki, Mennatulla Omar, Badr Al-Haffashi, Abdullah Almilaibary
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(3):212-220.   Published online June 10, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0062
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Objectives
Voluntary testing (VT) plays a crucial role in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. The present study investigated the perceptions and utilization of VT services for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia. Methods: In total, 3,510 adult participants from all provinces of Saudi Arabia were recruited via a national online survey. Results: Of the 3,510 participants, 88.9% were aware of the testing services available to them and of those, more than half (59.5%) had used the VT services and 96.1% were satisfied with the services. Contact with a positive COVID-19 case was the top reason for accessing VT, while a lack of awareness about the availability of VT services was the top perceived limiting factor. A history of chronic health conditions, anxiety and/or depression, and previous symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 were found to be predictors of the utilization of VT services (odds ratio [OR] 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22−1.96; OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.16−1.88; and OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.77−3.95), respectively. Conclusion: The awareness of voluntary COVID-19 testing services was satisfactory among the Saudi Arabian population, but can be improved. Sociodemographic and health history predictors of the utilization of VT services were identified.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives