Self-Reported compliance with personal preventive measures among Chinese factory workers at the beginning of work resumption following the COVID-19 outbreak: Cross-Sectional survey study

Yihang Pan, Yuan Fang, Meiqi Xin, Willa Dong, Liemin Zhou, Qinghua Hou, Fanping Li, Gang Sun, Zilong Zheng, Jinqiu Yuan, Zixin Wang, Yulong He (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Maintaining compliance with personal preventive measures is important to achieve a balance of COVID-19 pandemic control and work resumption. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate self-reported compliance with four personal measures to prevent COVID-19 among a sample of factory workers in Shenzhen, China, at the beginning of work resumption in China following the COVID-19 outbreak. These preventive measures included consistent wearing of face masks in public spaces (the workplace and other public settings); sanitizing hands using soap, liquid soap, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer after returning from public spaces or touching public installations and equipment; avoiding social and meal gatherings; and avoiding crowded places. Methods: The participants were adult factory workers who had resumed work in Shenzhen, China. A stratified two-stage cluster sampling design was used. We randomly selected 14 factories that had resumed work. All full-time employees aged ≥18 years who had resumed work in these factories were invited to complete a web-based survey. Out of 4158 workers who had resumed work in these factories, 3035 (73.0%) completed the web-based survey from March 1 to 14, 2020. Multilevel logistic regression models were fitted. Results: Among the 3035 participants, 2938 (96.8%) and 2996 (98.7%) reported always wearing a face mask in the workplace and in other public settings, respectively, in the past month. However, frequencies of self-reported sanitizing hands (2152/3035, 70.9%), avoiding social and meal gatherings (2225/3035, 73.3%), and avoiding crowded places (1997/3035, 65.8%) were relatively low. At the individual level, knowledge about COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratios [AORs] from 1.16, CI 1.10-1.24, to 1.29, CI 1.21-1.37), perceived risk (AORs from 0.58, CI 0.50-0.68, to 0.85, CI 0.72-0.99) and severity (AOR 1.05, CI 1.01-1.09, and AOR 1.07, CI 1.03-1.11) of COVID-19, perceived effectiveness of preventive measures by the individual (AORs from 1.05, CI 1.00-1.10, to 1.09, CI 1.04-1.13), organization (AOR 1.30, CI 1.20-1.41), and government (AORs from 1.14, CI 1.04-1.25, to 1.21, CI 1.02-1.42), perceived preparedness for a potential outbreak after work resumption (AORs from 1.10, CI 1.00-1.21, to 1.50, CI 1.36-1.64), and depressive symptoms (AORs from 0.93, CI 0.91-0.94, to 0.96, CI 0.92-0.99) were associated with self-reported compliance with at least one personal preventive measure. At the interpersonal level, exposure to COVID-19-specific information through official media channels (AOR 1.08, CI 1.04-1.11) and face-to-face communication (AOR 0.90, CI 0.83-0.98) were associated with self-reported sanitizing of hands. The number of preventive measures implemented in the workplace was positively associated with self-reported compliance with all four preventive measures (AORs from 1.30, CI 1.08-1.57, to 1.63, CI 1.45-1.84). Conclusions: Measures are needed to strengthen hand hygiene and physical distancing among factory workers to reduce transmission following work resumption. Future programs in workplaces should address these factors at multiple levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22457
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Compliance
  • COVID-19
  • Cross-sectional
  • Facemask wearing
  • Factory workers
  • Hand hygiene
  • Online
  • Physical distancing
  • Prevention
  • Survey
  • Work resumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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