Background: During the current crisis of the new type of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19), recent studies show evidence that it has a significant impact on public mental health and individuals behavior. The current study aimed to estimate the prevalence of high denial attitude towards the emerging pandemic of COVID-19 among the general population of Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among 1,817 participants, from April 3, 2020 to May 5, 2020. All participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire survey that included questions about socio-demography and other variables and Denial Attitude Questionnaire towards the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: A high denial attitude was prevalent among 728 (40.1%) participants. It was associated with old age, being married, having a low educational level, working in a non-medical profession, do not have a history of getting infected with any infectious diseases, spending less than 1 hour following COVID-19 news, satisfaction with the government procedures for COVID-19, and highly depressed and anxious respondents, where p-values were less than 0.05.
Conclusion: The study showed that about two out of five participants had a high denial attitude. To our knowledge, the current study is the first study that tried to evaluate a high denial attitude during the initial COVID-19 outbreaks, especially in Saudi Arabia. However, further exploration in this field is needed. We suggest conducting such studies at the end of the current pandemic and second wave of the outbreak.
Key words: COVID-19, Denial attitude, Public health, Saudi Arabia