Predicting public adherence to covid-19 preventive measures: A cross-sectional study in Hong Kong

Elsie Yan, Daniel W.L. Lai, Vincent W.P. Lee, Haze K.L. Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To effectively control the spread of COVID-19, the public’s adherence to rele-vant disease preventive measures (DPM) is critical. This study examined individuals’ adherence to various DPM and identified facilitators and barriers to adherence in a community sample in Hong Kong. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, telephone surveys were conducted over December 2020 and January 2021. Participants provided responses on their adherence to DPM as well as other psychosocial and cognitive factors via the phone. Results: Of the sample of 1255 Chinese adults (aged >18 years, 53% women), 94.4% wore face masks in public areas; 88.4% avoided touching their eyes, nose, and mouth; 82.1% performed hand hygiene practices; 81.5% used alcohol-based hand rubs; 74.6% abided by social distancing; and 39.7% tested for COVID-19 on a voluntary basis. Perceived benefits, perceived barriers, self-efficacy, cues to action, perceived acceptability, and disrup-tions to daily life related to COVID-19 were associated with individuals’ adherence to DPM. Con-clusion: Adherence to DPM was strong in Hong Kong, and the adherence level could be predicted by various factors. It is vital to consider these factors in order to improve the public’s adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12403
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Adherence
  • COVID-19
  • Health belief
  • Pandemics
  • Preventive measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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