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BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1663, 2022 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009372


BACKGROUND: The role of social ties, other-regarding preferences, and cultural traits in boosting community resilience and minimizing citizens' vulnerability to crises such as COVID-19 is increasingly being recognized. However, little is presently known about the possible routes through which such personal preferences and cultural norms pertinent to social behaviors are formulated. Thus, in this paper, factors that can be potentially associated with individuals to self-regulate strict hand hygiene practices before the pandemic, during the state of emergency, and after the state of emergency was lifted in Japan are investigated. Focus is given to the handwashing education in primary school, a cultural practice originating from the old Shinto tradition, and individuals' reciprocal inclinations. As people in Japan are known to be highly conscious of hygiene in all aspects of their daily life and are less likely to contract an infection, evidence obtained in this specific context could contribute to the better understanding of individuals' health-related behaviors in general, and during crises in particular. METHODS: Using the data derived from a four-wave nationwide longitudinal online survey, we examined the extent to which elementary school education, childhood cultural experiences at shrines, and individual other-regarding preferences are associated with self-regulating hand hygiene practices prior to the pandemic and people's efforts to comply with the government-imposed measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection during the state of emergency. We also investigated the long-term trends in the relationships among these factors (i.e., after the abolishment of the state of emergency) using panel data. RESULTS: Our findings reveal that childhood education and cultural experiences related to handwashing practices, as well as reciprocal inclinations, are significantly associated with Japanese attitudes toward personal hygiene (beyond handwashing practices) prior to, during, and after the state of emergency. In recognition of the possible effects of recall bias and measurement errors, several important attempts to mitigate these issues were made to strengthen the value of our findings. CONCLUSIONS: The importance of school education received during childhood, as well as culture and other-regarding preferences, in the individual attitudes toward hand hygiene in adulthood highlighted in this study contributes to the better understanding of the role that these factors play in the variations in voluntary compliance with strict hand hygiene practices before and during an uncertain and prolonged crisis.

COVID-19 , Hand Hygiene , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ceremonial Behavior , Hand Disinfection , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Schools
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1954108


Vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) in Japan are significantly lower than other countries, and Japanese people are reluctant to be vaccinated. Repeated daily reports of COVID-19 infections and restrictions have made people more health conscious and aware of the danger of infectious diseases. In this study, we used the health belief model (HBM) to examine perceived threats of cancer and infectious diseases and to ascertain whether the new COVID-19 vaccination in addition to these perceived threats would increase vaccination intention against cervical cancer. We conducted a cluster analysis to classify the segmentation regarding the perceived threat, and a logistic regression analysis to predict factors influencing people accepting vaccination. We received 1257 completed surveys during our research. We classified the participants into six clusters, and the logistic regression analysis indicated eight factors significantly associated with the willingness to get the HPV vaccine: reliable information sources such as doctors and social networking sites (SNS), the recognition of COVID-19 symptoms, the awareness of COVID-19 vaccination, the importance of HPV prevention through vaccination, one's own intention of COVID-19 vaccination, their intention of COVID-19 vaccination toward children, and benefits of HPV vaccination. Further research on HPV and COVID-19 vaccination is encouraged.