COVID-19 Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behavior Among Patients in a Safety-Net Health System

Terry C. Davis*, Laura M. Curtis, Michael S. Wolf, John A. Vanchiere, Mohammad A.Nobel Bhuiyan, Ronald Horswell, Stephanie Batio, Connie L. Arnold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Examine COVID-19 knowledge, concerns, behaviors, stress, and sources of information among patients in a safety-net health system in Louisiana. Research assistants surveyed participants via structured telephone interviews from April to October 2020. The data presented in this study were obtained in the pre-vaccine availability period. Of 623 adult participants, 73.5% were female, 54.7% Black, and 44.8% lived in rural small towns; mean age was 48.69. Half (50.5%) had spoken to a healthcare provider about the virus, 25.8% had been tested for COVID-19; 11.4% tested positive. Small town residents were less likely to be tested than those in cities (21.1% vs 29.3%, p = 0.05). Knowledge of COVID-19 symptoms and ways to prevent the disease increased from (87.9% in the spring to 98.9% in the fall, p < 0.001). Participants indicating that the virus had ‘changed their daily routine a lot’ decreased from 56.9% to 39.3% (p < 0.001). The main source of COVID-19 information was TV, which increased over time, 66.1–83.6% (p < 0.001). Use of websites (34.2%) did not increase. Black adults were more likely than white adults (80.7% vs 65.6%, p < 0.001) to rely on TV for COVID-19 information. Participants under 30 were more likely to get COVID-19 information from websites and social media (58.2% and 35.8% respectively). This study provides information related to the understanding of COVID-19 in rural and underserved communities that can guide clinical and public health strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • COVID-19 behavior
  • COVID-19 knowledge
  • Disparities
  • Sources of information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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