Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: In the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic, facemask use has been the most feasible 
public health measure in preventing transmission of SARS‑CoV2 with the dual benefit of controlling 
the source of infection and decreasing the risk of acquiring infection from infected people. Therefore, 
COVID‑appropriate behavior regarding facemask use is imperative for controlling the pandemic. This 
study aimed to assess COVID‑appropriate mask behavior and factors associated with it among the 
patients attending outpatient departments of a public health institute in West Bengal.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross‑sectional study was done among 298 patients attending 
outpatient departments of Rural and Urban Health Units of a public health institute of Kolkata, during 
October 2020–February 2021. A pretested questionnaire and an observational checklist based on the 
World Health Organization guidelines were used to collect data. COVID‑appropriate mask behavior 
was assessed by a five‑point domain‑wise scale, where good practice regarding facemask usage 
was considered when the score was three or more. Statistical analyses were done in SPSS 16.0.
RESULTS: Good practices regarding COVID‑19 appropriate mask‑related activities were recorded 
among 30.2% of the study participants. No difficulties faced during or on wearing a mask (adjusted 
odds ratio [AOR] = 1.86, 95% confidence interval CI: 1.1–3.33) and higher socioeconomic 
status (AOR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.22–4.15) were significantly associated with good practice regarding 
COVID‑19 appropriate facemask usage.
CONCLUSION: The magnitude of poor practice regarding COVID‑appropriate mask‑related behaviors 
is quite high among the study participants. Awareness regarding correct mask handling, storage, 
hygiene, disposal, and place of wearing from a reliable source would go a long way to curb the myths 
and misinformation surrounding mask usage and encourage COVID‑appropriate mask behaviors 
among the general population.


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