COVID-19: opinions and behavior of Italian general population during the first epidemic phase

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Cristina Genovese
Vincenza La Fauci
Angela Di Pietro
Giuseppe Trimarchi
Anna Odone
Alessandra Casuccio
Claudio Costantino
Vincenzo Restivo
Mariapia Fantini
Davide Gori
Antonio Azara
Giovanna Deiana
Silvana Castaldi
Elena Righi
Lucia Palandri
Giovanni Panciroli
Aida Bianco
Francesca Licata
Sofia Cosentino
Antonio Mistretta
Marina Marranzano
Rosalia Ragusa
Giovanni Gabutti
Armando Stefanati
Rosa Prato
Francesca Fortunato
Domenico Martinelli
Giancarlo Icardi
Donatella Panatto
Daniela Amicizia
Leila Fabiani
Annalucia Moretti
Damiana Di Risio
Roberta Siliquini
Gianluca Voglino
Fabrizio Bert
Chiara Lorini
Guglielmo Bonaccorsi
Ida Torre
Francesca Pennino
Maria Pavia
Gabriella Di Giuseppe
Andrea Paolantonio
Paolo Villari
Carolina Marzuillo
Gabriele Messina
Cesare Rivieri
Nicola Nante
Silvia Majori
Stefano Tardivo
Francesca Moretti
Smeralda D'Amato
Francesco Mazzitelli
Ioselita Giunta
Daniela Lo Giudice
Giuseppe Pantò
Carlo Signorelli
Raffaele Squeri


COVID-19; risk perception; knowledge; attitude; perception; population


Background and aim: On January 9, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Chinese health authorities had identified a new coronavirus strain never before isolated in humans, the 2019-nCoV later redefined SARS-CoV-2, that still today represent a public health problem. The present survey started on 10 February 2020 with the aim of a) assessing the risk perception in healthcare workers and young students, following the evolution of attitudes, perception and knowledge over time, b) provide useful information to the general population during survey.

Results: A study sample consisting of 4116 Italian individuals of both sexes was enrolled. High levels of risk perception, low perception of self-efficacy and low levels of knowledge scores (24.55 ± 5.76 SD) were obtained indicating the need for continuous population monitoring as well as further communication strategies carried out at institution levels.

Conclusion: The results of the present study could help public health authorities in carrying out informative campaigns for general population and could be an important tool in evaluating public knowledge and misperceptions during the management of the COVID-19. (


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