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Community Risk Perception and Compliance with Preventive Measures for COVID-19 Pandemic in Ethiopia

Authors Asnakew Z, Asrese K, Andualem M

Received 4 September 2020

Accepted for publication 24 November 2020

Published 8 December 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2887—2897

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S279907

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto


Zeleke Asnakew,1 Kerebih Asrese,2 Mulusew Andualem3

1Department of Management, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Social Work, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia; 3School of Public Health, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Zeleke Asnakew Tel +251911293595
Email [email protected]

Purpose: This study assessed the community’s level of risk perception of COVID-19, their compliance with recommended precautionary measures, and factors that influence compliance behavior.
Methods: This study is a cross-sectional online survey administered using google forms. Data were collected from 521 respondents using various social media channels, including e-mail, Facebook, messenger, telegram, and IMO.
Results: About 9 in 10 respondents (90.4%) perceived that they are susceptible to COVID-19. Nearly 9 in 10 participants (87.5%) perceived that COVID-19 is a serious disease. The majority of respondents (81%) got information about COVID-19 from television and social networking sites. The regression analyses revealed that compliance with preventive behaviors is differed by respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics. Being female (β: 0.094, P< 0.05), higher perceived effectiveness of recommended preventive measures (β: 0.367, P< 0.001), and higher perceived reliability of media (β: 0.189, P< 0.001) facilitated compliance with preventive measures. On the other hand, increasing age (β: − 0.096, P< 0.05), being single (β: − 0.127, P< 0.01), lower education level (β: − 0.168, P< 0.01), and living at a lower administrative level were barriers to be compliant with preventive measures.
Conclusion: The majority of the respondents exercised one or more of the recommended preventive measures to avoid COVID-19 infection. Most of the respondents got information about COVID-19 from television and social networking sites. Given that about 80% of the Ethiopian population is living in rural areas without television and higher illiteracy rate to use social networking sites, concerned bodies should introduce tailored interventions to impart knowledge about COVID-19 infection and mitigating measures.
Limitations: Although the sampling procedure was random through the online system, it might not be representative to study the perception and compliance of people towards COVID-19 prevention practices at a country level due to its small size. Thus, the interpretation of the study findings needs to consider this limitation.

Keywords: COVID-19, risk perception, media exposure, compliance with prevention

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