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Psychol Health ; : 1-21, 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805955


OBJECTIVE: The study investigated whether Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) constructs predicted recommended protective behaviours soon after the Italian lockdown and 1-year later. DESIGN: A three-wave longitudinal design was used. Three-hundred-fifty-two adults completed online questionnaires with PMT and intention measures assessed during the Italian lockdown (T1), and behaviour measures assessed after 1-month (T2) and 1-year (T3). OUTCOME MEASURES: Intentions to adopt behaviours (T1) and behaviour adherence at T2 and T3. RESULTS: From T2 to T3, participants reported less adoption of distance behaviours, but higher face masks use. In SEM models, self-efficacy and perceived severity were the strongest predictors of intentions to engage in protective behaviours. Intentions (ß = 0.490, p < 0.001) and fear arousal (ß = 0.134 p = 0.035) predicted protective behaviours at T2. Intentions (ß = 0.302, p = 0.001) and perceived severity (ß = 0.431, p < 0.001) predicted protective behaviours at T3. CONCLUSION: To increase intentions, intervention should highlight the severity of getting infected and target perceptions of one's ability to perform the protective behaviours. In addition, interventions should consider that at the beginning of the pandemic, fear predicted the adoption of preventive behaviours while perceived severity of the disease had a greater impact over time.