Assessing health-related behaviors among Jordanian children during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study

Main Article Content


COVID-19, Quarantine, Pharmacists’ role, Children, Health-related behavior


Background: The coronavirus disease identified in 2019 (COVID-19) led to extreme actions being taken by the governments to restrict the spread of this virus. Closure of schools, sport clubs and playgrounds were among these actions; children had to stay indoors and were not allowed to pursue their normal lifestyle activities. Objectives: To assess the differences in health-related behaviors among Jordanian school-aged children (6-16 years) before and during COVID-19 quarantine and to evaluate public’s perception of the role of pharmacists regarding children’s health-related behaviors management. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2020 to January 2021 using an anonymous web-based survey. The survey was developed based on previously published surveys. Evaluation of the validity and reliability of the survey were conducted by a professional committee of clinical pharmacists and a statistician. Results: A total of 230 children, aged 9.02± 2.977 participated in the study. Physical activity and healthy balanced meals decreased (less than 1 hr or 1-3 hrs/week vs 2 meals/day, p= <0.001), whereas daily screen time (1-3 hrs/week vs 4-6 hrs/week, p= <0.001), sleep hours (8-9 hrs/day vs 10-11 hrs/day, p= <0.001) and the ingestion of unhealthy snacks had increased (1-2 meals/day vs. 2-3 meals/day, p=<0.001). A positive perception of pharmacists’ role during the pandemic was revealed. Conclusion: The present study showed that a significant change in children’s healthrelated behavior happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such changes can lead to social, physical and mental health problems. The public perceived community pharmacists as trusted health care professionals during the pandemic.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 641 | PDF Downloads 396


1. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, et al. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(8):727-733.
2. She J, Jiang J, Ye L, et al. 2019 novel coronavirus of pneumonia in Wuhan, China: emerging attack and management strategies.Clin Transl Med. 2020;9(1):1-7.
3. Al-Tammemi AB. The battle against COVID-19 in Jordan: an early overview of the Jordanian experience. Front Public Health.2020;8:188.
4. Ong JS, Tosoni A, Kim Y, et al. Coronavirus disease 2019 in critically ill children: a narrative review of the literature. Pediatr CritCare Med. 2020;21(7):662-666.
5. López-Bueno R, López-Sánchez GF, Casajús JA, et al. Potential health-related behaviors for pre-school and school-aged childrenduring COVID-19 lockdown: A narrative review. Prev Med. 2021;143:106349.
6. Pietrobelli A, Pecoraro L, Ferruzzi A, et al. Effects of COVID‐19 lockdown on lifestyle behaviors in children with obesity living inVerona, Italy: A longitudinal study. J Obes. 2020;28(8):1382-1385.
7. Lange Andersen K, Seliger V, Rutenfranz J, et al. Physical performance capacity of children in Norway. Eur J Appl Physiol OccupPhysiol. 1974;33(3):177-195.
8. Merks P, Jakubowska M, Drelich E, et al. The legal extension of the role of pharmacists in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic.Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17(1):1807-1812.
9. Visacri MB, Figueiredo IV, de Mendonça Lima T. Role of pharmacist during the COVID-19 pandemic: a scoping review. Res SocialAdm Pharm. 2021;17(1):1799-1806.
10. Goff DA, Ashiru‐Oredope D, Cairns KA, et al. Global contributions of pharmacists during the COVID‐19 pandemic. J Am Coll ClinPharm. 2020;3(8):1480-1492.
11. Strand MA, Bratberg J, Eukel H, et al. Peer Reviewed: Community Pharmacists’ Contributions to Disease Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Prev Chronic Dis 2020;17:E69.
12. Basheti IA, Nassar R, Barakat M, et al. Pharmacists’ readiness to deal with the coronavirus pandemic: Assessing awareness and perception of roles. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17(3):514-522.
13. Thornton L, Batterham PJ, Fassnacht DB, et al. Recruiting for health, medical or psychosocial research using Facebook:Systematic review. Internet Interv. 2016;4:72-81.
14. Population Estimates in Jordan []
15. Boynton PM, Greenhalgh T. Selecting, designing, and developing your questionnaire. BMJ. 2004;328(7451):1312-1315.
16. Ridgers ND, Timperio A, Cerin E, et al. Compensation of physical activity and sedentary time in primary school children. MedSci Sports Exerc. 2014;46(8):1564-1569.
17. Wilkie HJ, Standage M, Gillison FB, et al. Correlates of intensity-specific physical activity in children aged 9–11 years: A multilevel analysis of UK data from the International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment. BMJ open.2018;8(2):e018373.
18. Grao‐Cruces A, Segura‐Jiménez V, Conde‐Caveda J, et al. The role of school in helping children and adolescents reach the physical activity recommendations: The UP&DOWN study. J Sch Health. 2019;89(8):612-618.
19. Neidhöfer G, Neidhöfer C. The effectiveness of school closures and other pre-lockdown COVID-19 mitigation strategies in Argentina, Italy, and South Korea. ZEW-Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper. 2020(20-034).
20. Viner RM, Russell SJ, Croker H, et al. School closure and management practices during coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19: a rapid systematic review. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2020;4(5):397-404.
21. Drenowatz C, Eisenmann JC, Pfeiffer KA, et al. Influence of socio-economic status on habitual physical activity and sedentary
behavior in 8-to 11-year old children. BMC Public Health. 2010;10(1):1-11.
22. King DL, Delfabbro PH, Billieux J, et al. Problematic online gaming and the COVID-19 pandemic. J Behav Addict. 2020;9(2):184-186.
23. World Bank Blogs. COVID-19 and digital learning preparedness in Jordan []
24. Niermann CY, Spengler S, Gubbels JS. Physical activity, screen time, and dietary intake in families: a cluster-analysis with
mother-father-child triads. Front Public Health. 2018;6:276.
25. Saunders JB, Hao W, Long J, et al. Gaming disorder: Its delineation as an important condition for diagnosis, management, and
prevention. J Behav Addict. 2017;6(3):271-279.
26. Robinson S, Daly RM, Ridgers ND, et al. Screen-based behaviors of children and cardiovascular risk factors. J Pediatr.2015;167(6):1239-1245.
27. Kremer P, Elshaug C, Leslie E, et al. Physical activity, leisure-time screen use and depression among children and young adolescents. J Sci Med Sport. 2014;17(2):183-187.
28. Altevogt BM, Colten HR. Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation: an unmet public health problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.
29. Medic G, Wille M, Hemels ME. Short-and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nat Sci Sleep. 2017;9:151-161.
30. Gupta R, Grover S, Basu A, et al. Changes in sleep pattern and sleep quality during COVID-19 lockdown. Indian J Psychiatry.
31. Donin AS, Nightingale CM, Owen CG, et al. Takeaway meal consumption and risk markers for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity in children aged 9–10 years: a cross-sectional study. Arch Dis Child. 2018;103(5):431-436.
32. Rosenheck R. Fast food consumption and increased caloric intake: a systematic review of a trajectory towards weight gain and obesity risk. Obes Rev. 2008;9(6):535-547.
33. Christofaro DGD, De Andrade SM, Mesas AE, et al. Higher screen time is associated with overweight, poor dietary habits and physical inactivity in Brazilian adolescents, mainly among girls. Eur J Sport Sci. 2016;16(4):498-506.
34. Mattioli AV, Ballerini Puviani M, Nasi M, et al. COVID-19 pandemic: the effects of quarantine on cardiovascular risk. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2020;74(6):852-855.
35. Bukhari N, Rasheed H, Nayyer B. Pharmacists at the frontline beating the COVID-19 pandemic. J Pharm Policy Pract. 2020;13(1):1-4.
36. The World Bank. Data for Jordan, Lower middle income []
37. Liao Y, Ma C, Lau AH, et al. Role of pharmacists during the COVID‐19 pandemic in China‐Shanghai Experiences. J Am Coll Clin
Pharm. 2020;3(5):997-1002.
38. Paudyal V, Cadogan C, Fialová D, et al. Provision of clinical pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic: experiences
of pharmacists from 16 European countries. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17(8):1507-1517.
39. Nazer LH, Tuffaha H. Health care and pharmacy practice in Jordan. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2017;70(2):150-155.
40. Wazaify M, Al-Bsoul-Younes A, Abu-Gharbieh E, et al. Societal perspectives on the role of community pharmacists and overthe-counter drugs in Jordan. Pharm World Sci. 2008;30(6):884-891.
41. Jalil MA, Alsous MM, Hammour KA, et al. Role of pharmacists in COVID-19 disease: a Jordanian perspective. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020;14(6):782-788.