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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e055909, 2021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1723806

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to explore the attenuated impact of reported avoidance behaviours adherence on the transmission of COVID-19 through cross-sectional surveys in Hong Kong, in order to make up for the lack of research on avoidance behaviours fatigue. DESIGN: 40 cross-sectional telephone surveys. SETTING: All districts in Hong Kong. PARTICIPANTS: 31 332 Cantonese or English-speaking participants at age of 18 years or above. METHODS: We collected data on behaviours and estimated the average effective reproduction number ([Formula: see text]) among the Hong Kong adult population during the COVID-19 epidemic wave in November-December 2020 and compared with the preceding epidemic in June-July 2020. RESULTS: We observed a reduction in adherence to voluntary avoidance behaviours due to pandemic fatigue, but continued adherence to regulated avoidance behaviours. The average [Formula: see text] during the post-work from home period was higher in November-December wave with estimated [Formula: see text] of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.75 to 0.87) compared with the June-July wave with an [Formula: see text] of 0.67 (95% CI: 0.60 to 0.75). CONCLUSIONS: The declined effectiveness of social distancing interventions in reducing COVID-19 transmission was associated with fatigue with voluntary avoidance behaviours in Hong Kong population, implying a need for the government to reinvigorate the public to maintain effective pandemic control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Avoidance Learning , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fatigue/epidemiology , Fatigue/prevention & control , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telephone
3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13468, 2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387478

ABSTRACT

The behavioral immune system posits that disgust functions to protect animals from pathogen exposure. Therefore, cues of pathogen risk should be a primary driver influencing variation in disgust. Yet, to our knowledge, neither the relationship between current pathogen risk and disgust, nor the correlation between objective and perceived pathogen risk have been addressed using ecologically valid measures in a global sample. The current article reports two studies addressing these gaps. In Study 1, we include a global sample (n = 361) and tested the influence of both perceived pathogen exposure and an objective measure of pathogen risk-local communicable infectious disease mortality rates-on individual differences in pathogen and sexual disgust sensitivities. In Study 2, we first replicate Study 1's analyses in another large sample (n = 821), targeting four countries (US, Italy, Brazil, and India); we then replaced objective and perceived pathogen risk with variables specific to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In Study 1, both local infection mortality rates and perceived infection exposure predicted unique variance in pathogen and sexual disgust. In Study 2, we found that perceived infection exposure positively predicted sexual disgust, as predicted. When substituting perceived and objective SARS-CoV-2 risk in our models, perceived risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 positively predicted pathogen and sexual disgust, and state case rates negatively predicted pathogen disgust. Further, in both studies, objective measures of risk (i.e., local infection mortality and SARS-CoV-2 rates) positively correlated with subjective measures of risk (i.e., perceived infection exposure and perceived SARS-CoV-2 risk). Ultimately, these results provide two pieces of foundational evidence for the behavioral immune system: 1) perceptions of pathogen risk accurately assay local, objective mortality risk across countries, and 2) both perceived and objective pathogen risk explain variance in disgust levels.


Subject(s)
Avoidance Learning , Disgust , Health Behavior , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sex Characteristics , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
4.
Psicothema ; 33(3): 423-432, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323427

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although several biopsychosocial variables could play an important role as risk and protective factors of mental health, COVID-19 outbreak studies among older people have seldom focused on protective factors. The purpose of this study was to analyze how older adults' personal strengths predict their well-being and emotional distress. METHOD: 783 Spanish people aged 60 and over completed a survey that included sociodemographic characteristics, perceived health, direct or indirect infection by COVID-19, resilience, gratitude, experiential avoidance, family functioning, emotional distress and well-being. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was performed. SEM invariance was also used to analyze whether there were differences between older people affected by COVID-19 and those not affected. RESULTS: The best model supports the mediation effect of resilience, gratitude and experiential avoidance on older people's well-being and emotional distress. Whether participants or relatives had been infected by the virus or not did not affect the results. CONCLUSIONS: Variables used as criteria in older adults are related to well-being and emotional distress, but only indirectly and mediated by resilience, gratitude and experiential avoidance. This confirms the importance of considering psychological strengths in older people's well-being. Interventions focused on these personal resources should be considered.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/psychology , Pandemics , Resilience, Psychological , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Avoidance Learning , COVID-19/etiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Psychological , Protective Factors , Psychological Distress , Social Isolation/psychology
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(14)2021 Jul 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302331

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading around the world, and Taiwan is no exception. Faced with the outbreak of the epidemic, the Taiwan government immediately ordered a policy banning indoor dining. The main purpose of the present research is to extend a Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) theoretical framework to explore the public perception toward banning indoor dining policy on restaurant avoidance behavior during the COVID-19 outbreak. An online survey was administered in Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic from 25 May to 8 June 2021; a total of 326 responses were collected by a convenience sampling method, and partial least square (PLS) analysis was deployed to examine the hypothesized relationships. The results showed that perception toward banning indoor dining policy had independent significant associations with attitude, perceived behavioral control, and restaurant avoidance behavior. Moreover, attitude, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm had independent significant associations with restaurant avoidance behavior. This study provides theoretical and practical insights into the psychological and behavioral processes involved in policy by the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus helping policymakers to better understand public opinion and responses to policy issues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Avoidance Learning , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Policy , Restaurants , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Taiwan/epidemiology
6.
J Psychiatr Res ; 137: 525-533, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164124

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Accurate threat appraisal is central to survival. In the case of the coronavirus pandemic, accurate threat appraisal is difficult due to incomplete medical knowledge as well as complex social factors (e.g., mixed public health messages). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the degree to which individuals accurately perceive COVID-19 infection rates and to explore the role of COVID-19 threat perception on emotional and behavioral responses both cross sectionally and prospectively. METHODS: A community sample (N = 249) was assessed using online crowdsourcing and followed for one month. COVID-19 threat appraisal was compared with actual COVID-19 infection rates and deaths at the time of data collection in each participant's county and state. It was predicted that actual versus perceived COVID-19 infection rates would only be modestly associated. Relative to actual infection rates, perceived infection rates were hypothesized to be a better predictor of COVID-related behaviors, distress, and impairment. RESULTS: Findings indicated that relative to actual infection, perceived infection was a better predictor of COVID-related outcomes cross sectionally and longitudinally. Interestingly, actual infection rates were negatively related to behaviors cross sectionally (e.g., less stockpiling). Prospectively, these variables interacted to predict avoidance behaviors over time such that the relationship between perceived infection and avoidance was stronger as actual infection increased. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that perceived COVID-19 infection is significantly associated with COVID-related behaviors, distress and impairment whereas actual infection rates have a less important and perhaps even paradoxical influence on behavioral responses to the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Avoidance Learning , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disabled Persons/psychology , Health Behavior , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Adult , Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male
7.
Support Care Cancer ; 29(7): 4075-4080, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009141

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Cumulative knowledge indicates that cancer patients, among them breast cancer patients, are more susceptible to COVID-19 than individuals without cancer. Therefore, these patients need to take additional precautions against the COVID-19 outbreak. This study aimed to examine factors associated with precautionary behavior among Israeli breast cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 151 women with breast cancer. Participants completed measures of knowledge about COVID-19, perceived threat, sense of mastery, social support, precautionary behavior, and socio-demographic questionnaires. A multivariate regression model was calculated with precautionary behavior as the dependent variable. RESULTS: The mean of precautionary behavior score was relatively high. Participants perceived their health as relatively good, had relatively high knowledge about COVID-19, and moderate perceived threat. Sense of mastery was relatively moderate and perceived social support was relatively high. In the multivariate regression analysis, after controlling for the background variables, knowledge about COVID-19 (F(2,149) = 8.68, p < 0.001; beta = 0.36) was significantly associated with precautionary behavior. This variable explained 15.4% of the precautionary behavior variance. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that in order to enhance precautionary behavior among women with breast cancer during a pandemic outbreak, it is recommended to pay attention their knowledge about the virus.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Avoidance Learning , Breast Neoplasms/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Health Behavior/physiology , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quarantine/psychology , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Care/psychology , Self Care/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
9.
Bioessays ; 43(3): e2000158, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-935000

ABSTRACT

We animals have evolved a variety of mechanisms to avoid conspecifics who might be infected. It is currently unclear whether and why this "behavioral immune system" targets unfamiliar individuals more than familiar ones. Here I answer this question in humans, using publicly available data of a recent study on 1969 participants from India and 1615 from the USA. The apparent health of a male stranger, as estimated from his face, and the comfort with contact with him were a direct function of his similarity to the men in the local community. This held true regardless of whether the face carried overt signs of infection. I conclude that our behavioral immune system is finely tuned to degrees of outgroupness - and that cues of outgroupness are partly processed as cues of infectiousness. These findings, which were consistent across the two cultures, support the notion that the pathogens of strangers are perceived as more dangerous.


Subject(s)
Avoidance Learning , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Cues , Facial Recognition , Adult , Animals , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/transmission , Face/physiology , Face/physiopathology , Facial Expression , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry ; 28(12): 1287-1298, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-746015

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Main aims of the study are to examine the early psychological correlates associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on the mental health of a Spanish older adult sample and to analyze the influence of past mental disorder (PMD) and current mental disorder (CMD) on those correlates. METHODS: Cross-sectional study based on an online snowball recruiting questionnaire. Psychological correlates assessed with the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and Impact of Event Scale (IES). Binary and multinomial logistic regression models were used to identify risk and protective factors. RESULTS: Final sample included 2,194 individuals aged 60 years or more (mean age [SD]: 65.62 [5.05]; females: 1,198 [54.6%]). There were 342 (15.6%) individuals who reported a PMD and 162 (7.4%) who reported a CMD. Avoidant (32.1%) and depressive (25.6%) styles were the most prevalent, regardless of mental health status. Main risk factors for negative affectivity were female gender and history CMD or PMD. However, job stability and the ability to enjoy free time were generally associated with better outcomes. No differences were found in psychological correlates between those with no lifetime history of mental disorder versus PMD on the DASS-21 or IES. However, CMD was associated with higher anxiety scores on the DASS-21 (odds ratio: 1.838, p < .001). CONCLUSION: Regardless of mental status, avoidant and depressive styles were the most prevalent in this older adult sample. Main protective factor in all subgroups was the ability to enjoy free time, whereas the main risk factors were being female and current or past history of mental disorder.


Subject(s)
Avoidance Learning , Coronavirus Infections , Depression , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stress, Psychological , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Medical History Taking , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Prevalence , Protective Factors , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/prevention & control
11.
J Affect Disord ; 277: 94-98, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696793

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent psychological research into the effects of COVID-19 has focused largely on understanding excessive fear reactions ("over-responses"). Equally important, but neglected phenomena concern "under-responses", in which people downplay the significance of COVID-19. People who do not take the pandemic seriously may be less likely to adhere to social distancing policies. The present study is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate the differential predictors of over- and under-responses to COVID-19. METHODS: A large community sample from the United States and Canada (N = 6,854) completed measures of beliefs associated with over- and under-responses, along with measures of distress, excessive avoidance, and nonadherence to social distancing. Over-response beliefs were assessed by scales measuring beliefs about the dangerousness of COVID-19 (personal health and socio-economic threats) and COVID-19-related xenophobia (beliefs that foreigners are spreading the virus). Under-response beliefs were assessed by scales measuring beliefs that the threat of COVID-19 has been exaggerated, and beliefs that one is sufficiently healthy to be robust against the effects of COVID-19. RESULTS: In regression analyses, medium or large effects were obtained whereby over-response beliefs predicted distress (including distress associated with self-isolation) and excessive avoidance during the pandemic, whereas under-response beliefs predicted the disregard for social distancing. LIMITATIONS: This study relied on self-reported cross-sectional data and focused on extreme forms of disregard for social distancing guidelines, CONCLUSION: : It is important to understand under-responses to COVID-19 and how these relate to distress, excessive avoidance, and nonadherence to social distancing. Implications for addressing the problems of over- and under-response are discussed.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , Avoidance Learning , Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Psychological Distress , Social Behavior , Adult , Aged , Anxiety , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression , Fear , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Health Questionnaire , Psychological Distance , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
12.
Schizophr Res ; 223: 192-198, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-670449

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown restrictions could have adverse consequences for patients with severe mental disorders (SMD). Here, we aim to compare the early psychological impact (depression, anxiety, and stress responses, intrusive and avoidant thoughts, and coping strategies) on people with SMD (n = 125) compared with two control groups: common mental disorders (CMD, n = 250) and healthy controls (HC, n = 250). An anonymous online questionnaire using a snowball sampling method was conducted from March 19-26, 2020 and included sociodemographic and clinical data along with the DASS-21 and IES scales. We performed descriptive and bivariate analyses and multinomial and linear regression models. People with SMD had higher anxiety, stress, and depression responses than HC, but lower scores than CMD in all domains. Most people with SMD (87.2%) were able to enjoy free time, although control groups had higher percentages. After controlling for confounding factors, anxiety was the only significant psychological domain with lower scores in HC than people with SMD (OR = 0.721; 95% CI: 0.579-0.898). In the SMD group, higher anxiety was associated with being single (beta = 0.144), having COVID-19 symptoms (beta = 0.146), and a higher score on the stress subscale of DASS-21 (beta = 0.538); whereas being able to enjoy free time was a protective factor (beta = -0.244). Our results showed that patients with SMD reacted to the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions with higher anxiety levels than the general public, and suggesting this domain could be a criterion for early intervention strategies and closer follow-up.


Subject(s)
Anxiety Disorders/psychology , Anxiety/psychology , Bipolar Disorder/psychology , COVID-19 , Depression/psychology , Depressive Disorder/psychology , Psychotic Disorders/psychology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Adaptation, Psychological , Adult , Avoidance Learning , Case-Control Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Employment , Family , Female , Humans , Income , Linear Models , Male , Marital Status , Mental Disorders/psychology , Middle Aged , Protective Factors , Psychological Distress , Risk Factors , Spain
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