RESEARCH PAPER
Perceptions and practice of personal protective behaviors to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the G7 nations
Constantine I. Vardavas 1  
,   Satomi Odani 1  
,   Katerina Nikitara 1  
,   Hania El Banhawi 1  
,   Christina N. Kyriakos 1  
,   Luke Taylor 2  
,   Grace Lown 2  
,   Nicolas Becuwe 3  
 
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1
School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
2
Kantar, Public Division, London, United Kingdom
3
Kantar, Public Division, Brussels, Belgium
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Satomi Odani   

School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, 715 00, Crete, Greece
Submission date: 2020-05-18
Acceptance date: 2020-06-09
Publication date: 2020-06-19
 
Popul. Med. 2020;2(June):17
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
To combat the transmission of COVID-19, countries have endorsed a series of non-pharmaceutical measures. We evaluated the practice and perceptions of personal protective measures and social distancing across the G7 countries.

Methods:
Data were collected during 19–21 March 2020, from 7005 of Kantar’s online panelists aged >16 years across the G7 countries: Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. Data were post-stratified and weighted to match population distributions of the respective countries. Descriptive and multivariable analyses were conducted in late March 2020.

Results:
Males (vs females) and those less educated (vs college graduates) were less likely to practice personal protective measures and social distancing. Younger adults were also less likely to practice social distancing (vs adults >65 years old). Respondents who expressed concern about the impact of COVID-19 on their health, income or education had higher odds of practicing personal protective measures (AOR=2.81, 1.74, and 1.54, respectively) and social distancing (AOR=3.18, 1.68, and 1.89, respectively) compared to those who did not. Those who perceived precautionary measures as highly effective were also more likely to practice personal protective measures (AOR=2.05) and social distancing (AOR=3.99) compared to those who perceived them as ineffective.

Conclusions:
Concerns about COVID-19 and perceived effectiveness of precautionary measures strongly predict practice of protective measures, regardless of the types of behaviors. Population-wide interventions should focus on ensuring increased adherence and tailoring communications to groups that are less likely to practice protective behaviors.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
FUNDING
There was no source of funding for this research.
AUTHORS' CONTRIBUTIONS
All authors contributed significantly to this work.
PROVENANCE AND PEER REVIEW
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
 
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