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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the factors associated with adherence to viral mitigation protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: This epidemiological cross-sectional study examines adherence to behaviour in 4158 adults and its relationship with sources of information. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Adherence to social distancing protocols (SDPs) and adherence to hygienic behaviour (HB) recommendations. RESULTS: Individuals aged 18-30 reported lowest adherence to SDPs and HB. Alcohol consumption was associated with lower adherence. Increased risk perception, fear of infection and altruistic attitude were associated with greater adherence. Males, single and childless individuals reported lower adherence. Extroverts and urban residents reported lower adherence to SDPs, but not HB. In contrast to earlier stages of the pandemic, voluntary social distancing was associated with greater adherence to SDPs as opposed to rule-enforced social distancing. Regarding information obtainment, increased time spent acquiring information from recognised newspapers had the strongest favourable association with adherence. Relying on information from friends and family was associated with decreased adherence to SDPs. Sensitivity analyses replicated the findings, supporting the stability and robustness of the proposed models. CONCLUSION: This study identifies factors associated with favourable and detrimental adherence behaviour along with substantial dissemination routes, presenting strategies that may be of utility towards fostering adherence to contemporaneously implemented mitigation protocols.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychol Health

Publication Date





283 - 306


Adult, Male, Humans, COVID-19, Pandemics, Physical Distancing, Cross-Sectional Studies, Attitude