Adherence to the Physical Distancing Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A HAPA-Based Perspective

Melanie Beeckman*, Annick De Paepe, Maite Van Alboom, Sarah Maes, Aline Wauters, Fleur Baert, Ama Kissi, Elke Veirman, Louise Poppe, Dimitri M. L. Van Ryckeghem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The COVID‐19 pandemic requires massive and rapid behavior change. The Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) describes personal determinants that play a key role in behavior change. This study investigated whether these determinants are associated with adherence to physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID‐19 (i.e. keeping 1.5 m physical distance and staying at home). Decreased psychosocial well‐being and lack of social support were explored as barriers to adherence.
Methods: Two cross‐sectional surveys were conducted among adults in Belgium. The first survey (N = 2,379; March 2020) focused on adherence to physical distancing measures. The second survey (N = 805; April 2020) focused on difficulty with, and perseverance in, adhering to these measures. Linear regression models were fitted to examine associations with HAPA determinants, psychosocial well‐being, and social support.
Results: Self‐efficacy, outcome expectancies, intention, action planning, and coping planning were related to adhering to, difficulty with, and perseverance in, adhering to physical distancing measures. Decreased psychosocial well‐being and lack of social support were related to more difficulties with adhering to physical distancing and lower perseverance.
Conclusions: Health action process approach determinants are associated with adherence to physical distancing measures. Future work could design HAPA‐based interventions to support people in adhering to these measures
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1243
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Psychology-Health and Well Being
Volume12
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • HAPA
  • physical distancing
  • psychosocial well-being
  • social support
  • HEALTH
  • BEHAVIORS
  • VALIDITY

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