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Preventive Behaviors Towards Covid-19 Pandemic Among Healthcare Providers in Saudi Arabia Using the Protection Motivation Theory

Authors Mortada E, Abdel-Azeem A, AlShowair AM, Zalat MM

Received 5 November 2020

Accepted for publication 29 December 2020

Published 17 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 685—694


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Eman Mortada,1,2 Amro Abdel-Azeem,1,3 Abdulmajeed Al Showair,3 Marwa M Zalat1,4

1Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt; 2Department of Health Sciences, Health & Rehabilitation College, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, 11671, Saudi Arabia; 3Ministry of Health, Central Region Health Cluster 1, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Al Madinah City, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Eman Mortada
Department of Community, Department of Health Sciences, Health & Rehabilitation College, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, 11671, Saudi Arabia
Tel +00966536330815

Purpose: The main objectives of the study are firstly to measure the COVID– 19 preventive health behaviors related among health care providers (HCPs), then to identify the determinants of such behavior using the protection motivation theory (PMT).
Patients and Methods: An online cross-sectional survey, containing closed-ended questions, was distributed among healthcare professionals including physicians, pharmacists, technicians, and nurses. It consisted of questions assessing socio-demographic and occupational characteristics, in addition to questions from the modified PMT that has been tailored for the COVID-19 pandemic through five sub-constructs: perceived severity and perceived vulnerability, response efficacy, self-efficacy, response costs, and behavioral intention.
Results: A total of 385 HCPs have participated in the study with a mean age of 40.08± 8.2 years; the majority was Saudi, married, and having children. There was a significant association between intention to comply with COVID-19 preventive behavior and being females, nurses, having training in Infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) during work time (p≤ 0.01). Other demographic variables, working experience, the status of being in the workforce during the pandemic COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia did not have a significant effect on the intention of HCPs to comply with COVID-19 preventive behavior. The vast majority 85.7% of HCPs answered “always” regarding the behavioral intention of HCPs to comply with COVID-19 preventive behavior. There was a significant positive correlation between COVID-19 behavioral intention and other constructs of PMT model, including perceived severity (r=0.272) perceived vulnerability (r= 0.248), self-efficacy (r=0.218), response-efficacy (r=0.167), and response-cost (r=0.13). Gender, availability of PPE, and self-efficacy had a significant prediction of COVID-19 behavioral intentions (P < 0.05) with a predicted increase of 0.56, 0.37, and 0.12, respectively, in the mean of the intention score. Self-efficacy was the highest significant predictor of the behavior (p=0.008).
Conclusion: Females’ gender, nurses, having training in IPC measures, and availability of PPE during work time have a significant association with intention to comply with COVID-19 preventive behavior. The present study coping appraisal particularly self-efficacy predicted the COVID-19 pandemic protection motivation and preventive behavior more than threat appraisal. Therefore, future training programs must consider the level of self-efficacy of HCPS, and increase their knowledge regarding the effectiveness of recommendation strategies to perform protective measures against the COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, behavioral intention, preventive health practice, threat appraisal, coping appraisal, protection motivation theory

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