New survey probes physician concerns about COVID-19

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The survey found a vast majority of physician respondents were concerned about the virus affecting them or their patients directly.

A majority of physicians are concerned they or their patients being affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a new survey from Toluna.

The survey looks at responses from 530 physicians from February 28 to March 5. Of those respondents, 25 percent were primary care providers and the other 75 percent were specialists.

It found that 96 percent of physician respondents were some level of concerned that the virus, which is currently sweeping the globe, will affect them or their patients directly. Only 9 percent were extremely concerned, but the most common response was that the physicians were very concerned with 33 percent.

A further 59 percent of the physician respondents also believe that the media is overplaying the implications of the virus and 46 percent said their patients had asked for suggestions or recommendations to help protect them from the coronavirus, the survey says.

Among the physician respondents, the top suggestions and recommendations they are giving are to follow CDC guidelines, hand hygiene, and avoid touching your face, the survey says.

The survey also looked at trends among patients. It found that of the 1,074 consumer respondents 96 percent also said they were some level of concerned. The most common response was that the consumer was moderately concerned with 34 percent.

Only two percent of patient respondents told surveyors they were not knowledgeable at all about the COVID-19 coronavirus, while 50 percent described themselves as somewhat knowledgeable. Only nine percent said they were extremely knowledgeable, the survey says.

According to the survey, only 38 percent of the patient respondents say that they have changed their behaviors because of the coronavirus.

It is worth noting the survey was completed before many of the facts currently available about coronavirus’ impact were available. According to the World Health Organization, there are 209,839 confirmed cases of the virus across 169 countries and there have been 8,778 confirmed deaths.

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