Basic COVID-19 knowledge according to education level and country of residence: Analysis of twelve countries in Latin America

Christian R. Mejia, Telmo Raul Aveiro-Robalo, Luciana Daniela Garlisi Torales, Maria Fernanda Fernández, Francisco E. Bonilla-Rodríguez, Enrique Estigarribia, Johanna Magali Coronel-Ocampos, Cecilia J. Caballero-Arzamendia, Renato R. Torres, Aram Conde-Escobar, Yuliana Canaviri-Murillo, Diana Castro-Pacoricona, Victor Serna-Alarcón, Dennis Arias-Chávez

Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Knowing a disease is crucial for being able to fight it, especially in a region in which COVID-19 caused so many deaths, such as Latin America. Objective: To determine the association between basic knowledge of COVID-19 and education level according to country of residence in Latin America. Methodology: This is an analytical cross-sectional study. Basic level of knowledge was measured through nine close-ended questions (scale validated in Peru). The score obtained was analyzed through performing a crosstab vs. gender, age, education level, and country of residence. Results: Of a total of 9,222 respondents, almost all of them knew the common symptoms (99%), modes of transmission (93%), and knew how to recognize which was not a specific symptom (93%). Through the multivariate model, we found that there was no association with gender (p = 0.716) or age (p = 0.059), in comparison with those who had primary or a lower education level. All the other higher education levels had statistically significant scores (all p-values p < 0.001). When comparing knowledge according to countries, and using Peru as reference for comparison, Chile, Paraguay, Mexico, Bolivia, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Colombia had a better level of knowledge (all p-values < 0.001); however, only El Salvador had a lower level (p < 0.001). Discussion: There was lack of knowledge of some topics, difference according to academic degree and country. As Peru was one of countries that obtained the lowest level of knowledge, it could have influenced the fact that it was the most affected country in the world.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number978795
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StateIndexed - 29 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Mejia, Aveiro-Robalo, Garlisi Torales, Fernández, Bonilla-Rodríguez, Estigarribia, Coronel-Ocampos, Caballero-Arzamendia, Torres, Conde-Escobar, Canaviri-Murillo, Castro-Pacoricona, Serna-Alarcón and Arias-Chávez.


  • COVID-19
  • Latin America
  • coronavirus
  • knowledge
  • pandemic


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