Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


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First Advisor

Julie Tippens


Background: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) causes respiratory illness and has been linked to high morbidity (N=583) and mortality (N=1359) since it was first found in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Camels have been identified as the likely source of the infection of MERS in Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Currently, there is no available treatment for MERS; however, prevention and education have been established as the best practices for prevention by the World Health Organization, United States (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia.

Purpose: This study explores awareness and health behaviors related to the prevention of MERS among Saudi Arabians in three regions (Jeddah in the western area, Riyadh in the middle area, and Dammam in the eastern area) to assess potential future public health promotion activities.

Methods: A 14-item Likert-scaled survey was administered to Saudi Arabians aged 20 years and older living in three regions (N=90). The survey questions assessed knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) pertaining to the prevention of MERS. A descriptive analysis was conducted, and data were reported as percentages and frequencies and were stratified by sex, age, and geographic region.

Results: Women demonstrated a greater level of knowledge of MERS risk and prevention than men did. Those living in Jeddah had a higher level of prevention knowledge and attitude than did those in other regions of the country.

Conclusion: In general, participants demonstrated a high level of knowledge and attitude toward MERS. However, there were specific geographic areas in which respondents had a lower level of knowledge, thus highlighting the need for targeted education programs and effective intervention with more research efforts. Understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and practices surrounding MERS prevention has implications for general public health research and practice in the area of infection disease prevention.


Degree: Masters in Public Health

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