This research article found that individuals who associated coronavirus with death were less likely to perform recommended preventative health behaviors.
Knowing what predicts individuals’ likelihood of engaging in recommended COVID-19 preventative behaviors is important so they can be targeted in health messages to increase compliance. Researchers explored a novel idea by assessing the correlation between fatalism related to coronavirus and recommended preventative behaviors such as social distancing and handwashing. They found that coronavirus-related worry, age, race, perceived ability to take sick leave, and work-related self-esteem predicted people’s association of COVID-19 with death. This association actually negatively predicted intentions to perform recommended behaviors. Public health officials and care providers can use this information to target and frame health communication messages and interventions that combat fatalism for more effective compliance.