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School of Public Health
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University

Psychosocial Factors Associated With Adherence to COVID-19 Preventive Measures in Low-Middle- Income Countries, December 2020 to February 2021


Objectives: To investigate psychosocial factors associated with adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).Methods: This online cross-sectional survey included 10,183 adults (median age 45 years) from nine LMICs. Participants were asked about adhering to four COVID-19 preventive measures (physical distancing, wearing a face mask, hand, and cough hygiene); a composite adherence score was calculated, ranging from 0–4 positive responses. Psychosocial measures included worry, anxiety, depression, social and demographic, and COVID-19 related factors.Results: Factors associated with adherence to more preventive measures included being a participant from Malaysia or Bangladesh, older age, higher education, belonging to the healthcare sector (either as or worker), having health personnel as a trusted source of COVID-19 information/advice, possessing correct COVID-19 knowledge, worry or fear about being (re)infected with COVID-19, and screening negative for general anxiety symptoms.Conclusion: Moderate to high adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures was found, with significant variations across countries. Psychosocial factors (worry, anxiety, knowledge, education, age, and country) seemed determinant in predicting the number of measures to which participants adhered.

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