OBJECTIVES: Identifying determinants of prevention behaviours during the emergence of a new infectious disease is important. We investigated the associations between information-seeking and prevention behaviours during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and mediating effects of psychiatric factors. METHODS: In total, 1,970 participants from the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Etiology Research Center cohort participated in an online survey 55 days after the first COVID-19 case in Korea was diagnosed. Time spent seeking information related to COVID-19; information sources; psychiatric factors, including anxiety, depression, post-Traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), and the fear of COVID-19; and prevention behaviours were examined. The mediating effect of psychiatric factors was estimated using mediation analysis. RESULTS: Time spent seeking information and information sources affected several behavioural responses. In men, anxiety mediated associations between information-seeking and prevention behaviours, including purchasing sanitary supplies (effect size [ES], 0.038; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.002 to 0.095) and hoarding (ES, 0.029; 95% CI, 0.002 to 0.068). The fear of COVID-19 also mediated associations between information-seeking and prevention behaviours including refraining from going out (men: ES, 0.034; 95% CI, 0.009 to 0.068; women: ES, 0.052; 95% CI, 0.030 to 0.080), wearing face masks (men: ES, 0.085; 95% CI, 0.031 to 0.184), avoiding public transportation (men: ES, 0.020; 95% CI, 0.000 to 0.044; women: ES, 0.031; 95% CI, 0.015 to 0.051), hoarding (women: ES, 0.051; 95% CI, 0.029 to 0.792), and trying alternative remedies (men: ES, 0.024; 95% CI, 0.004 to 0.053). Depressive symptoms and PTSS did not have any mediating effects. CONCLUSIONS: While the availability of information related to COVID-19 can help prevent infections, it can also promote anxiety and fear, leading to negative behaviours such as hoarding and trying unverified alternative treatments.
|Journal||Epidemiology and health|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (grant No. 2020 R1C1C1003502).
© 2021 Epidemiology and Health. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health