St. John's University | College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

COVID-19 Project: Preliminary Survey Results (N=204)

Background: The ‘COVID-19 Knowledge, Support and Perceived Stress Impact Assessment in Haiti’ is a needs assessment evaluation project developed by ’Yolene Gousse, DrPH, MPH, Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacy Administration and Public Health, St. John’s University, Queens, NY, in collaboration with capracare, Fonfrede, Haiti. This report covers preliminary analyses of a sub-sample of 204 surveys completed in May 2020.

Methods: A one-time survey was developed to assess individuals’ characteristics, household composition, and knowledge. Additionally, the survey also includes validated scales to assess psychological impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. capracare’s team canvassed the greater Fonfrede community and surrounding regions by conducting door to door street outreach to assess the needs and impact of COVID-19 in Haiti through the administration of this survey, raise awareness, and provide education about COVID-19.

Participants Characteristics and Program Outcomes:

Program Participants: The survey respondent’s demographics and characteristics analyses comprise of a sub-sample of 204 participants who completed the COVID-19 project survey. The majority of respondents were male (63.2%); 28.4% male; and 8.4% did not respond to this item. Respondents were between the ages of 18 to 81 years of age (with a mean age of 39.68; standard deviation of 16.33. A total of 71.6% reported being single; 21.6% married; and 6.3% divorced/cohabitating. Nearly the entire sample were born in Haiti (99.5%); and reported being born in the region of Les Cayes, Haiti (95.1%). Over half of the sample did not complete a High School Education (65.7%); 12.3% completed High School or GED equivalent; 9.8% completed vocational/technical trade school; and 12.2% completed some college education/more than four years of college. Less than a quarter (19.1%) of respondents reported being employed at the time of the survey administration; 75% unemployed; and 5.4% did not respond to this item.

Household Composition and Resources: Households: The majority of the respondents (91.2%) lived in multi-generational households with family members and/or partners. Household members age range from 1 year to 98 years of age. A total of 83.3% of the survey respondents reported living in their own home; followed by 13.3% who reported living on the streets. The remaining 3.5% reported living elsewhere (at their parents/other family member house; on the street/outside). Everyday Water Supply: Nearly half (49.0%) of the sample store water in make- shift containers including buckets and gallons; nearly a quarter 24.5% obtain water from a well; 19.6% reported having to fetch water in the community using a public tap/well; and 2.9% reporting having a plumbing system in the yard. Toilet Types: The use of an outhouse and an indoor toilet facility was reported by 89.7% and 9.3% respectively, while the remaining 1.00% used the yard.

COVID-19 Knowledge and Care: Over half of the sample (68.6%) reported receiving services at capracare; while the remaining 31.4% indicated otherwise. COVID-19 Knowledge: Nearly all (98.0%) of the sample reported hearing about COVID-19 prior to this project; 1.00% never head of the disease; and 1.00% did not respond to this survey item. Of those who previously heard of the disease, over half (58.8%) first heard of COVID-19 from the radio or television, followed by social media (21.1%); the remaining 20.1% learned about the pandemic from family/friends (9.3%); capracare  (8.3%); and church (2.5%). COVID-19 Care: The majority (82.4%) of the sample reported being able to isolate themselves or a family member in their household; 17.6% indicated not having the space for isolation. Additionally, over half (62.3%) reported knowing how to care for themselves and/others if sick with the disease; 37.3% reported not knowing how to provide care.

Psychological Impact: Validated surveys were used to assess the psychological impact of COVID-19, in relation to perceived stress, anxiety and depression.

Perceived Stress: The perceived stress scores for the sample ranged from 1 to 12, with highest scores representing greater perceived stress. Among the survey respondents, the average perceived stress score was 7.33; standard deviation 1.95.

Anxiety: Over one third (32.4%) of the survey respondents’ scores were suggestive of experiencing anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining survey results (67.8%) was not suggestive of feeling anxious.

Depression: Nearly half (41.7%) of the survey respondents’ scores were suggestive of experiencing depression; and 56.9% did not exhibit these signs.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

The preliminary sub-sample analyses help identify key areas needing attention in order to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 in Haiti including: increase awareness about the provision of care for someone symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19; address long-term health outcomes including psychological issues. Furthermore, these findings also shed some light on the need to address infrastructure and develop strategies to provide a refuge for those who may need but don’t have the resources to shelter in place; as well as address the burden of lack of finance especially during the pandemic to meet basic needs.

We will continue to monitor and analyze the survey data. Future updates on this project will build on the preliminary findings presented here.

We need to view these results with slight caution due to the small sample size.

Rev. 6.15.20