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Application of the Health Belief Model to understand behaviour related to preventing COVID-19 among adults in the Weligama MOH area, Matara district, Sri Lanka

Authors:

M. M. F. Ahamad,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About M. M. F.
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
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H. M. R. K.G. Nandasena

University of Peradeniya, LK
About H. M. R. K.G.
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
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Abstract

Objective: The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has led the world’s public health systems to face a lot of challenges. One of the main effective ways to control the spread of this disease is to break the chain of infection by adhering to preventive practices. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the preventive health behaviour related to COVID-19 among adults using the Health Belief Model (HBM).


Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Weligama Medical Officer of Health area in the Matara district, Sri Lanka. A cluster sampling method was used to select 160 adults aged above 18 years. A Grama Niladari Division was considered as a cluster and a household was randomly selected from each cluster. Data on demographic characteristics, health beliefs and preventive behaviour related to COVID-19 were obtained through an interviewer administered questionnaire. Minimum and maximum of the total score in the HBM was 20 and 100 and on the preventive behaviour scale it was 38 and 190. Pearson correlation test was used to examine the relationship between subscales in the HBM and preventive behaviour.


Results: The mean age of the participants was 44.5 SD=19.72 and 56.9% (n=91) were females. Mean values for the total score of the HBM and preventive behaviour were 70.62 (SD=10.21) and 140.33 (SD=20.55) respectively. The results showed a positive and moderate relationship between the preventive behaviour and each construct of the HBM (perceived susceptibility r=0.41, p < 0.001; perceived severity r=0.48, P <0.001; perceived benefits r= 0.22, p 0.005; perceived barrier r= 0.23, p 0.004; self-efficacy r=0.24, p 0.003; cues to action r=0.31, p <0.001).


Conclusion - Perceived susceptibility and perceived severity showed moderate level of strength of relationship with the preventive behaviour, while all other constructs in the HBM showed very weak relationships. This emphasises that people will adopt preventive behaviour when they feel that they are at risk (perceived susceptibility) and when they consider that the disease has serious consequences to their health (perceived severity).

 

How to Cite: Ahamad, M.M.F. and Nandasena, H.M.R.K.G., 2022. Application of the Health Belief Model to understand behaviour related to preventing COVID-19 among adults in the Weligama MOH area, Matara district, Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases, 12(2), pp.E21 1–14. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v12i2.8430
Published on 20 Jun 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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