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Publication Detail
Trajectories of Compliance With COVID-19 Related Guidelines: Longitudinal Analyses of 50,000 UK Adults
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Wright L, Steptoe A, Fancourt D
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Annals of Behavioral Medicine
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  • Keywords:
    COVID-19, Compliance, Growth curve modeling, Latent class growth analysis, Nonpharmaceutical interventions
  • Notes:
    This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
BACKGROUND: Governments have implemented a range of measures focused on changing citizens' behaviors to lower the transmission of COVID-19. While international data shows that compliance did decline from the start of the pandemic, average trends could mask considerable heterogeneity in compliance behaviors. PURPOSE: To explore trajectories of compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. METHODS: We used longitudinal data on self-reported compliance from 50,851 adults in the COVID-19 Social Study collected across two waves of the pandemic in the UK (April 01, 2020-February 22, 2021). We modeled typical compliance trajectories using latent class growth analysis (LCGA) and used multinomial logistic regression to examine whether individual personality and demographic characteristics were related to compliance trajectories. RESULTS: We selected a four-class LCGA solution. Most individuals maintained high levels of compliance and reported similar levels of compliance across the first and second waves. Approximately 15% of participants had decreasing levels of compliance across the pandemic, reporting noticeably lower levels of compliance in the second wave. Individuals with declining compliance levels were younger on average, in better physical health, had lower empathy and conscientiousness and greater general willingness to take risks. CONCLUSIONS: While a minority, not all individuals have maintained high compliance across the pandemic. Decreasing compliance is related to several psychological traits. The results suggest that targeting of behavior change messages later in the pandemic may be needed to increase compliance.
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