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Publication Detail
Patterns of compliance with COVID-19 preventive behaviours: a latent class analysis of 20 000 UK adults
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Wright L, Steptoe A, Fancourt D
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Language:
  • Notes:
    This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Background Governments have implemented a range of measures to tackle COVID-19, primarily focusing on changing citizens’ behaviours in order to lower the transmission of the virus. Few studies have looked at the patterns of compliance with different measures within individuals: whether people comply with all measures or selectively choose some but not others. Such research is important for designing interventions to increase compliance. Methods We used cross-sectional data from 20 947 UK adults in the COVID-19 Social Study collected from 17 November to 23 December 2020. Self-report compliance was assessed with six behaviours: mask wearing, hand washing, indoor household mixing, outdoor household mixing, social distancing and compliance with other guidelines. Patterns of compliance behaviour were identified using latent class analysis, and multinomial logistic regression was used to assess demographic, socioeconomic and personality predictors of behaviour patterns. Results We selected a four-latent class solution. Most individuals reported similar levels of compliance across the six behaviour measures. High level of compliance was the modal response. Lower self-reported compliance was related to young age, high risk-taking behaviour, low confidence in government and low empathy, among other factors. Looking at individual behaviours, mask wearing had the highest level of compliance while compliance with social distancing was relatively low. Conclusion Results suggest that individuals choose to comply with all guidelines, rather than some but not others. Strategies to increase compliance should focus on increasing general motivations to comply alongside specifically encouraging social distancing.
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