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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332432

ABSTRACT

AbstractObjectives: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study was established in March 2020 to monitor the psychological and socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the UK and other countries. This paper describes the protocol for Wave 6 (August-September 2021). Methods: The survey assessed: COVID-19 related experiences;experiences of common mental health disorders;psychological characteristics;and social and political attitudes. Adults who participated in any previous wave (N=3170) were re-invited to participate, and sample replenishment procedures were conducted to help manage attrition. Weights were calculated using a survey raking algorithm to ensure on-going original panel (commencing at baseline) was nationally representative in terms of gender, age, and household income, amongst other factors. Results: 1643 adults who participated in any previous wave were re-interviewed at Wave 6 (51.8% retention rate). Non-participation at Wave 6 was higher amongst women, younger adults, those in employment, those born outside UK, adults living in cities, and those not living alone. Of the adults recruited into the C19PRC study at baseline, 54.3% (N=1100) participated in Wave 6. An additional 415 new respondents entered the panel at this wave, resulting in cross-sectional sample for Wave 6 of 2058 adults. The raking procedure re-balanced the longitudinal panel to within 1.3% of population estimates for selected socio-demographic characteristics. Conclusion: This paper outlines the growing strength of the publicly available C19PRC Study data for COVID-19-related interdisciplinary research.

2.
Psychol Health ; : 1-19, 2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764345

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Given the highly infectious nature of COVID-19, social distancing practices are key in stemming the spread of the virus. We aimed to assess the complex interplay among psychological factors, socio-demographic characteristics and social distancing behaviours within the framework of the widely used Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model. DESIGN: The present research employed network psychometrics on data collected during the first UK lockdown in April 2020 as part of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study. Using a network approach, we examined the predictions of psychological and demographic variables onto social distancing practices at two levels of analysis: macro and micro. RESULTS: Our findings revealed several factors that influenced social distancing behaviour during the first UK lockdown. The COM-B model was successful in predicting particular aspects of social-distancing via the influence of psychological capability and motivation at the macro-and micro-levels, respectively. Notably, demographic variables, such as education, income, and age, were directly and uniquely predictive of certain social distancing behaviours. CONCLUSION: Our findings reveal psychological factors that are key predictors of social distancing behaviour and also illustrate how demographic variables directly influence such behaviour. Our research has implications for the design of empirically-driven interventions to promote adherence to social distancing practices in this and future pandemics.

3.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0265145, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759950

ABSTRACT

Two theoretical perspectives have been proffered to explain changes in alcohol use during the pandemic: the 'affordability-availability' mechanism (i.e., drinking decreases due to changes in physical availability and/or reduced disposable income) and the 'psychological-coping' mechanism (i.e., drinking increases as adults attempt to cope with pandemic-related distress). We tested these alternative perspectives via longitudinal analyses of the COVID-19 Psychological Consortium (C19PRC) Study data (spanning three timepoints during March to July 2020). Respondents provided data on psychological measures (e.g., anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, paranoia, extraversion, neuroticism, death anxiety, COVID-19 anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, resilience), changes in socio-economic circumstances (e.g., income loss, reduced working hours), drinking motives, solitary drinking, and 'at-risk' drinking (assessed using a modified version of the AUDIT-C). Structural equation modelling was used to determine (i) whether 'at-risk' drinking during the pandemic differed from that recalled before the pandemic, (ii) dimensions of drinking motives and the psychosocial correlates of these dimensions, (iii) if increased alcohol consumption was predicted by drinking motives, solitary drinking, and socio-economic changes. The proportion of adults who recalled engaging in 'at-risk' drinking decreased significantly from 35.9% pre-pandemic to 32.0% during the pandemic. Drinking to cope was uniquely predicted by experiences of anxiety and/or depression and low resilience levels. Income loss or reduced working hours were not associated with coping, social enhancement, or conformity drinking motives, nor changes in drinking during lockdown. In the earliest stage of the pandemic, psychological-coping mechanisms may have been a stronger driver to changes in adults' alcohol use than 'affordability-availability' alone.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adaptation, Psychological , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Costs and Cost Analysis , Humans , Motivation , Pandemics
4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330847

ABSTRACT

Background and aim Despite the significant mental health challenges the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated government measures have presented, research have shown that the majority of people have adapted and coped well. The aim of this study was i) to determine the proportion of people with mental stability and volatility during the pandemic in a North West urban environment sample and ii) to establish group differences in psychosocial variables. Mental stability and volatility refer to the extent to which individuals reported change in levels of common mental health symptoms over the course of 12 weeks. Method a two-wave-online survey (N = 163) was used to explore the psychological and social impact of the pandemic on relatively disadvantaged neighbourhoods within the Liverpool City Region over 12 weeks. Kruskal-Wallis with post-hoc tests were used to determine how people with mental stability and volatility differed on factors categorised within an ecological framework of resilience (individual, community, societal, and COVID-19 specific). Results Individuals categorised as ‘stable’ in terms of mental health symptoms (63.6%) had better mental and physical health;were more tolerant of uncertainty;reported higher levels of resilience and wellbeing compared to ‘very volatile’ people (19.8%). These individuals also reported feeling less socially isolated, experienced a greater sense of belonging to their community which was more likely to fulfil their needs, and were more likely to have access to green space nearby for their recommended daily exercise. ‘Stable’ individuals did not report worrying any more during the pandemic than usual and tolerated uncertainty better compared to those in the ‘volatile’ group. Implications The majority of participants in this sample were mentally stable and coping well with the challenges presented by the pandemic. The resilience of these individuals was related to key place-based factors such as a strong sense of community and useable local assets. The data showcase the role of place-based social determinants in supporting resilience and thereby highlight key preventative measures for public mental health during times of international crisis.

5.
Int J Popul Data Sci ; 5(4): 1704, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1754160

ABSTRACT

This paper serves to alert IJPDS readers to the availability of a major new longitudinal survey data resource, the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study, which is being released for secondary use via the Open Science Framework. The C19PRC Study is a rich and detailed dataset that provides a convenient and valuable foundation from which to study the social, political, and health status of European adults during an unprecedented time of change as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. Here, we provide an overview of the C19PRC Study design, with the purpose of stimulating interest about the study among social scientists and maximising use of this resource.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , European Union , Humans , Information Dissemination , Pandemics , United Kingdom
6.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330112

ABSTRACT

The influence of place-based factors on the physical and mental health of residents is well established and acknowledged within the population health approach to addressing health and wellbeing inequalities. The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore the issues that global communities face. The current UK policy context of ‘levelling up’ represents these concerns and the need to address them. This research examines perceptions of community wellbeing and its determinants as collected within a city region of the North West Coast of England during COVID restrictions between June and August 2020. The paper aims to establish the structure, construct validity and reliability of a new measure of community wellbeing - the Wellbeing in Place Perceptions Scale. Further, it aims to examine how this measure of community wellbeing correlated with symptoms of common mental health as reported by residents of this relatively disadvantaged city region during this unprecedented time. Results indicate that the WIPPS has a reliable and valid structure, correlating significantly with another widely used measure of sense of community and with the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Its relationship to self-reported common mental distress is also clear. Though in need of replication and longitudinal testing, the findings reported here on this new measure remind us that individual and place-based factors combine to influence wellbeing and that community needs to have an increasingly influential role to sustainably prevent future mental health challenges.

7.
BMC Psychiatry ; 22(1): 154, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) are self-report measures of major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. The primary aim of this study was to test for differential item functioning (DIF) on the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 items based on age, sex (males and females), and country. METHOD: Data from nationally representative surveys in UK, Ireland, Spain, and Italy (combined N = 6,054) were used to fit confirmatory factor analytic and multiple-indictor multiple-causes models. RESULTS: Spain and Italy had higher latent variable means than the UK and Ireland for both anxiety and depression, but there was no evidence for differential items functioning. CONCLUSIONS: The PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores were found to be unidimensional, reliable, and largely free of DIF in data from four large nationally representative samples of the general population in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depressive Disorder, Major , Anxiety , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression , Depressive Disorder, Major/diagnosis , Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Patient Health Questionnaire , Psychometrics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Acta Psychol (Amst) ; 225: 103539, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699929

ABSTRACT

The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on all aspects of daily life and triggered a swell of anxiety across the world. Some suggest this emotional response to the pandemic can be explained through death anxiety (DA), a transdiagnostic dimension associated with numerous psychological disorders. However, it remains unclear as to whether DA is a unidimensional or multidimensional construct. The primary aim of this study was to examine the underlying structure of the Death Anxiety Inventory-Revised (DAI-R; Tomás-Sábado et al., 2005) and assess its associations with mental health and demographic variables during the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve these aims, we utilized data from Waves 1 (N = 2205: collected between March 23 and March 28, 2020) and 2 (N = 1406: collected between April 22 and May 1, 2020) of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC), a multi-wave nationally representative study. Results showed that a 4-factor model provided the best fit to the data compared to a unidimensional and 4-factor second-order model. Further analyses showed that DA at Wave 1 was positively associated with somatic symptoms, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress symptoms at Wave 2, supporting previous research that suggests that the fear of death is predictive of psychopathology. Significantly, the factor labelled 'Thoughts about Death' at Wave 1 was the strongest predictor of the five main psychological variables at Wave 2, after statistically controlling for the other latent variables. These findings highlight the transdiagnostic nature of DA and support this important diagnostic construct becoming a measure of mental health more generally within the population. It is hoped that this research will shine a light on those suffering from DA and become a catalyst for increased therapeutic intervention, funding, and research in this area.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/psychology , Humans , Pandemics , Phobic Disorders , SARS-CoV-2
9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324934

ABSTRACT

Background. The COVID-19 emergency has led to numerous attempts to assess the impact of the pandemic on population mental health. Findings indicate an increase in depression and anxiety but have been limited by the lack of specificity about which aspects of the pandemic (e.g. viral exposure or economic threats) have led to adverse mental health outcomes. Methods. Network analyses were conducted on data from wave 1 (N = 2025 recruited March 23rd – March 28th 2020) and wave 2 (N = 1406 recontacts, 22 April – 1 May 2020) of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium Study, an online longitudinal survey of a representative sample of the UK adult population. Our models included depression (PHQ-9), generalised anxiety (GAD-7) and trauma symptoms (ITQ) and also measures of Covid-specific anxiety, exposure to the virus in self and close others as well as economic loss due to the pandemic. Results. A mixed graphical model at wave 1 indicated that economic adversity impacted on anxiety symptoms via specific anxiety about the pandemic. There was no association between viral exposure and symptoms. Ising network models using clinical cut-offs for symptom scores at each wave yielded similar findings with the exception of a modest effect of viral exposure on trauma symptoms at wave 1 only. Anxiety and depression symptoms formed separate clusters at wave 1 but not wave 2. Conclusions. The psychological impact of the pandemic evolved in the early phase of lockdown. Adverse psychiatric outcomes were particularly associated with exposure to the economic consequences of the pandemic.

10.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321353

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to estimate the association between anxiety associated with COVID-19 and somatic symptoms, using data from a large, representative sample (N=2025) of the UK adult population. Results showed that moderate to high levels of anxiety associated with COVID-19 were significantly associated with general somatic symptoms, and in particular with gastrointestinal and fatigue symptoms. This pattern of associations remained significant after controlling for generalised anxiety disorder, pre-existing health problems, age, gender and income. This is the first evidence that anxiety associated with COVID-19 makes a unique contribution to somatisation, above and beyond the effect of generalised anxiety disorder.

11.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321352

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis necessitating drastic changes to living conditions, social life, personal freedom and economic activity. No study has yet examined the presence of psychiatric symptoms in the UK population in similar conditions.AimsWe investigated the prevalence of COVID-19 related anxiety, generalised anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms in a representative sample of the UK population during an early phase of the pandemic, and estimated associations with variables likely to influence these symptoms.MethodBetween March 23rd and March 28th 2020, a quota sample of 2025 UK adults 18 years and older, stratified by age, sex and household income, was recruited by online survey company Qualtrics. Participants completed measures of depression (PHQ9), generalised anxiety (GAD7), and trauma symptoms relating to the pandemic (ITQ). Bivariate and multivariate associations were calculated for age, gender, rural vs urban environment, presence of children in the household, income, loss of income, pre-existing health conditions in self and someone close, infection in self and someone close, and perceived risk of infection over the next month.ResultsHigher levels of anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms were reported compared to previous population studies, but not dramatically so. Meeting the criteria for either anxiety or depression, and trauma symptoms was predicted by young age, presence of children in the home, and high estimates of personal risk. Anxiety and depression symptoms were also predicted by low income, loss of income, and pre-existing health conditions in self and other. Specific anxiety about COVID-19 was greater in older participants.Conclusions The UK population, especially older citizens, were largely resilient in the early stages of the pandemic. However, several specific COVID-related variables are associated with psychological distress: particularly having children at home, loss of income because of the pandemic, as well as having a pre-existing health condition, exposure to the virus and high estimates of personal risk. Further similar surveys, particularly of those with children at home, are required as the pandemic progresses.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321351

ABSTRACT

Objective: The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) are self-report measures of major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. The primary aim of this study was to test for differential item functioning (DIF) on the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 items based on age, sex (males and females), and country.Method (or Design): Data from nationally representative surveys in UK, Ireland, Spain, and Italy (combined N = 6, 040) were used to fit confirmatory factor analytic and multiple-indictor multiple-causes models. Results: Spain and Italy had higher latent variable means than the UK and Ireland for both anxiety and depression, but there was no evidence for differential items functioning. Conclusions: The PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores were found to be unidimensional, reliable, and largely free of DIF in data from four large nationally representative samples of the general population in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321350

ABSTRACT

Shevlin et al. (2021) recently demonstrated heterogeneity in mental health and psychological responses to the COVID-19 pandemic over time from a nationally representative sample of UK adults (March–July 2020). Five subpopulations representing either stability, deterioration or improvement in both anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD were identified. The majority of the sample were characterised by low levels of anxiety-depression (56.6%) and COVID-19 traumatic stress (68.3%) during this early phase of the pandemic but some showed deterioration and some showed mental health benefits. Here we extend these findings using two additional survey waves from the C19PRC Study, thereby modelling mental health trajectories for the UK population within the entire first year of the pandemic.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321349

ABSTRACT

Background: The current study argues that population prevalence estimates for mental health disorders, or changes in mean scores over time, may not adequately reflect the heterogeneity in mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the population. Methods: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study is a longitudinal, nationally representative, online survey of UK adults. The current study analysed data from its first three waves of data collection: Wave 1 (March 2020, N=2025), Wave 2 (April 2020, N=1406) and Wave 3 (July 2020, N=1166). Anxiety-depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety and Depression Scale (a composite measure of the PHQ-9 and GAD-7) and COVID-19 related PTSD with the International Trauma Questionnaire. Changes in mental health outcomes were modelled across the three waves. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify subgroups of individuals with different trajectories of change in anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Latent class membership was regressed on baseline characteristics. Results: Overall prevalence of anxiety-depression remained stable, while COVID-19 PTSD reduced between Waves 2 and 3. Heterogeneity in mental health response was found, and hypothesised classes reflecting (i) stability, (ii) improvement, and (iii) deterioration in mental health were identified. Psychological factors were most likely to differentiate the improving, deteriorating and high-stable classes from the low-stable mental health trajectories. Conclusions: A low-stable profile characterised by little-to-no psychological distress (‘resilient’ class) was the most common trajectory for both anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Monitoring these trajectories is necessary moving forward, in particular for the ~30% of individuals with increasing anxiety-depression levels.

15.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315737

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in the day-to-day behaviours of populations globally, especially in areas where social distancing rules have been mandated. Understanding the cognitive mechanisms underlying (un)successful behaviour change around social distancing is crucial to inform public health policy for both the current and future crises.In this study, we utilise tasks probing delay discounting (the preference for immediate versus delayed rewards) and patch foraging (evaluating the trade-off between exploiting a known resource and exploring an unknown one) to investigate cognitive predictors of social distancing and mental health symptoms. Participants (N=442) were recruited from a large UK cohort (N=2025) nationally representative in age, gender and income.Greater sensitivity to reward magnitude during delay discounting predicted lower adherence to social distancing measures and higher levels of mood and anxiety symptoms. In addition, under-valuing recently sampled information during foraging separately predicted greater violation of social distancing. Analyses examining cognitive factors underpinning social distancing behaviour across two time points (early and late phases of the pandemic) additionally revealed that greater sensitivity to magnitude of rewards on offer during delay discounting predicted a greater decline in psychological inclination to maintain social distancing. Moreover, under-valuing recent information during foraging separately predicted less motivation to engage in social distancing during the established phase of the pandemic. The findings suggest that those who typically regulate their mood through behaviours that bring about immediate reward are also those who struggle to maintain social distancing. Further, those who adapt more quickly to new information showed better ability to change their behaviour in response to public health measures. These findings highlight the need for public health initiatives that bolster sustained confidence in planning around social distancing by emphasising the immediate rewards to self as well as longer term benefits.

16.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315133

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented disruption of normal social relationships and activities, which are so important during the teen years and young adulthood, and to education and economic activity worldwide. The impact of this on young people’s mental health and future prospects may affect their need for support and services, and the speed of the nation’s social recovery afterwards. This study focused on the unique challenges facing young people at different points during adolescent development, which spans from the onset of puberty until the mid-twenties. Although this is an immensely challenging time and there is a potential risk for long term trauma, adolescence can be a period of opportunity, where the teenagers’ brain enjoys greater capacity for change. Hence, the focus on young people is key for designing age-specific interventions and public policies, which can offer new strategies for instilling resilience, emotional regulation, and self-control. In fact, adolescents might be assisted to not only cope, but excel, in spite of the challenges imposed by this pandemic. Our work will feed into the larger societal response that utilizes the discoveries about adolescence in the way we raise, teach, and treat young people during this time of crisis. Wave 1 data has already been collected from 2,002 young people aged 13-24, measuring their mental health (anxiety, depression, trauma), family functioning, social networks, and resilience, and social risk-taking at the time of the pandemic. Here we present a preliminary report of our findings, (Report 1). Data collected 21/4/20- 29/4/20 - a month after the lockdown started).

17.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315132

ABSTRACT

A brief follow on report (for Report 1, see https://psyarxiv.com/uq4rn/). This report presents data on parents and their children's well being as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from our adult survey study. In addition to presenting additional data showing a potentially significant increase in anxiety and depression in young people aged 13-24, as a consequence of COVID-19. Data collection for our Adult Study (Wave 2) took place between 22nd April and was ended on Friday, May 1st, here we report headline figures for the impact of Covid-19 on parents and their children. We have described our methods in a separate report (https://psyarxiv.com/wxe2n) and released two reports on our mental health outcomes from wave 1 (https://psyarxiv.com/hb6nq, https://psyarxiv.com/ydvc7).

18.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312043

ABSTRACT

Research has demonstrated that situational factors such as perceived threats to the social order activate latent authoritarianism. The deadly COVID-19 pandemic presents a rare opportunity to test whether existential threat stemming from an indiscriminate virus moderates the relationship between authoritarianism and political attitudes toward the nation and outgroups. Using data from two large nationally representative samples of adults in the United Kingdom (N = 2,025) and Republic of Ireland (N = 1,041) collected during the initial phases of strict lockdown measures in both countries, we find that the associations between right-wing authoritarianism and 1) nationalism and 2) anti- immigrant attitudes are conditional on levels of perceived threat. As anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic increases, so too does the effect of right-wing authoritarianism on those political outcomes. Thus, it appears that existential threats to humanity from the COVID-19 pandemic moderate expressions of authoritarianism in society.

19.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312042

ABSTRACT

Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 have proliferated during the global pandemic, and their rapid spread among certain groups inthe population has important implications for policy attitudes (e.g., motivation to engage in social distancing and willingness to vaccinate). Using survey data from two waves of a nationally representative, longitudinal study of life in lockdown in the UK (N = 1,406), we analyze the factors associated with belief in three theories related to COVID-19, namely that it 1) originated in a meat market in Wuhan, China, 2) was developed in a lab in Wuhan, China, and 3) is caused by 5G mobile networks. Using a dual-factor model, we test how cognitive ability and motivations affect susceptibility to misinformation. Our findings suggest that motivational and political dispositions, as well as the sources from which people derive COVID-19 related information, are strongly associated with belief in conspiracy theories about the virus, though these predictors vary among conspiracies. Belief in the Chinese lab conspiracy is associated with right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), social dominance orientation (SDO) and a preference for tabloid newspapers, while belief in the 5G network origin story is associated with social dominance orientation and a tendency to derive information on COVID-19 from social media. Moreover, we find that motivational factors like RWA and SDO have larger effect sizes than COVID-19 related anxiety, a desire for certainty, cognitive reasoning ability, or even general conspiracy ideation (in the case of 5G belief). These findings suggest that efforts to mitigate the potential damage caused by conspiracy theories, for example, by increasing education and awareness, may be inadequate because they miss a larger story, namely the role that politically motivated reasoning plays in making individuals susceptible to misinformation, and the propagation of conspiracies through networks and channels that reinforce these inaccurate worldviews.

20.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311159

ABSTRACT

Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest global health threats facing humanity in recent memory. This study aimed to explore influences on hygienic practices, a set of key transmission behaviours, in relation to the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model of behaviour change (Michie et al., 2011).Design Data from the first wave of a longitudinal survey study was used, launched in the early stages of the UK COVID-19 pandemic.Methods Participants were 2025 adults aged 18 and older, representative of the UK population, recruited by a survey company from a panel of research participants. Participants self-reported motivation, capability and opportunity to enact hygienic practices during the COVID-19 outbreak.ResultsUsing regression models, we found that all three COM-B components significantly predicted good hygienic practices, with motivation having the greatest influence on behaviour. Breaking this down further, the sub-scales psychological capability, social opportunity and reflective motivation positively influenced behaviour. Reflective motivation was largely driving behaviour, with those highest in reflective motivation scoring 51% more on the measure of hygienic practices compared with those with the lowest scores.ConclusionsOur findings have clear implications for the design of behaviour change interventions to promote hygienic practices. Interventions should focus on increasing and maintaining motivation to act and include elements that promote and maintain social support and knowledge of COVID-19 transmission. Groups in particular need of targeting for interventions to increase hygienic practices are males and those living in cities and suburbs.

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