Acceptability and Willingness of UAE Residents to Use OTC Vending Machines to Deliver Self-Testing Kits for COVID-19 and the Implications

Ammar Abdulrahman Jairoun*, Sabaa Saleh Al Hemyari, Naseem Mohammed Abdulla, Moyad Shahwan*, Farah Hashim Jaber Bilal, Saleh Karamah Al-Tamimi, Maimona Jairoun, Samer H. Zyoud, Amanj Kurdi, Brian Godman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Self-testing kits for SARS-CoV-2 appear effective, practical, safe and reliable as well as helping patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms to be successfully managed at home without going to hospital. As a result, ease pressures on hospitals. OTC vending machines offer the potential for SARS-CoV-2 self-testing kits alongside making available OTC treatments to alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19. As a result, providing confidentiality alongside ease of use in case people do not want their status broad casted. Consequently, there was a need to assess the acceptability and willingness regarding the availability of OTC vending machines to dispense self-testing kits for SARS-CoV-2 among UAE residents to provide future direction. Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional survey using a designed questionnaire was based on previous research and expert input and pilot tested. All items in the final questionnaire were seen as acceptable with a satisfactory content validity. A purposive sampling strategy was used in the principal study by primarily sending a link to the questionnaire to UAE universities via Facebook and WhatsApp. Results: A total of 876 respondents participated in the study and completed the whole questionnaire. Most participants were female (63%), Arabic origin (42%) and holding a bachelor’s degree (84.5%). There was high acceptability and willingness to use self-testing kits (87.2%), with 88.6% of respondents believing OTC vending machines would be beneficial for patients with actual or suspected SARS-CoV-2. Gender, nationality, educational level, employment status, having relatives infected with SARS-CoV-2 and being vaccinated were significantly associated with attitudes towards the self-testing kits. Recognised barriers include their potential costs, ease of access and help for those who cannot read the instructions. Conclusion: Overall, there was high acceptability and willingness to use OTC vending machines to deliver self-testing kits for SARS-CoV-2 among the surveyed participants. Key barriers will need to be addressed to enhance their use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1770
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • UAE
  • attitudes
  • public acceptability and willingness
  • self-testing kits


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