Determinants of health behaviours intended to prevent spread of respiratory pathogens that have pandemic potential: A rapid review

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Abstract

Effective public health messages to encourage behaviours to reduce the spread of COVID-19 should be informed by existing research that identifies the factors that are associated with these preventive behaviours.

This rapid review summarises the existing research on the determinants of behaviours that aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The review focuses on the body of research (excluding research conducted with health care workers) that was produced in the context of viruses other than SARS CoV-2 that cause severe respiratory illness and are transmitted in a similar way.

A total of 58 published peer-reviewed studies included in the review were identified through searches of Medline, Embase, PsychInfo and CINAHL. Most were conducted in the context of the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in 2009. Most studies examined the determinants of wearing a face covering, handwashing and social or physical distancing.

The findings suggest that public health messages to encourage preventive behaviours should emphasise the potential seriousness of COVID-19 to elicit appropriate concern, strengthen perceptions of risk or threat from COVID-19, enhance self-efficacy about preventive behaviours, and improve knowledge about SARS-CoV-2, how it is transmitted, and how preventive behaviours can reduce the risk of transmission.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103423
JournalActa Psychologica
Volume220
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Oct 2021

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