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.

Abstract 996 | PDF Downloads 571


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.

Most read articles by the same author(s)