Currently submitted to: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Date Submitted: Jun 23, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Jun 23, 2020 - Aug 23, 2020
(currently open for review)
Health Beliefs Associated with Preventive Health Behaviors for COVID-19: Findings in a Sample Drawn from a Major City in Iran
To date, in the absence of effective treatment and successful vaccines, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the most important threat to public health.
Objectives: This study was conducted in Saveh city, of Iran, in 2020. Of interest were how health beliefs (taken from the Health Belief’s Model [HBM]), demographic characteristics, and general health behaviors (e.g., smoking) relate to COVID-19 preventative behaviors (e.g., hand-washing).
In this descriptive-analytic study, a multi-stage randomized sampling method was used and 486 people (250 males and 236 females) recruited from health centers in Saveh city, Iran, participated. Data were collected through a self-administered multi‑part questionnaire, which included sociodemographic information, health behaviors, and constructs associated with HBM. Data were analyzed using independent t-tests, ANOVA, and multiple regression in SPSS version 21.
Perceived disease susceptibility (β=0.44, p<0.001), self-efficacy to enact preventative behaviors (β=0.24, p<0.01), education (β=0.20, p<0.001), non-smoking status (β=0.14, p<0.01), marital status (β=0.10, p<0.03), and perceived barriers to disease preventative behaviors (β=-0.10, p<0.04) were important predictors of prevention practices for COVID-19. Perceived susceptibility, self-efficacy, barriers, and socio-demographic constructs (education, smoking, and marital status) accounted for 61.4% (adjusted R2) of the variance associated with preventive behavior for COVID-19.
Conclusion: To improve control strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic, public health initiatives are needed to enhance perceived susceptibility to the disease and improve self-efficacy to perform preventative behaviors in spite of perceived barriers.
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