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    Does social capital influence community health worker knowledge, attitude and practices towards COVID-19? Findings from a cross-sectional study in Malang district, Indonesia

    Gadsden, Thomas, Maharani, Asri ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5931-8692, Sujarwoto, Sujarwoto, Kusumo, Budiarto Eko, Jan, Stephen and Palagyi, Anna (2022) Does social capital influence community health worker knowledge, attitude and practices towards COVID-19? Findings from a cross-sectional study in Malang district, Indonesia. SSM - Population Health, 19. p. 101141. ISSN 2352-8273

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    Abstract

    Community health workers (CHWs) are the first point of contact with the primary health care system in many low- and middle-income countries and are situated to play a critical role in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The knowledge, attitude and practices of CHWs regarding COVID-19 may be influenced by their level of trust and participation in the community, collectively defined as their level of social capital. To assess whether social capital influences CHWs' knowledge, attitude and practices related to COVID-19, we conducted a web-based survey of CHWs (n = 478) in Malang district, Indonesia between October 2020 and January 2021. CHW social capital was measured using the Shortened Adapted Social Capital Assessment Tool. Multiple logistic regression results show that cognitive social capital was associated with higher self-reported knowledge of COVID-19, more confidence in answering COVID-related questions from the community and feeling safe from COVID-19 when working. Membership of community organisations was associated with a higher number of COVID-related tasks conducted. Thus, CHWs in Malang district with higher levels of cognitive social capital were more likely to be confident in their knowledge and ability to respond to COVID-19, and CHWs embedded in their community were more likely to be engaged in pandemic response duties. Our findings suggest that policies aimed at promoting CHW embeddedness, targeted recruitment and addressing training needs hold promise in strengthening the positive contribution of the community health workforce to the COVID-19 response.

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