Did COVID-19 risk perceptions influence the handwashing behavior of the Filipino population?

Ryan V. Labana, Mhelorie Kesia E. Cruz, Abdul Abbu Jamaila M. Ramirez, Marie E. Raya


The COVID-19 pandemic reminded people of the importance of proper handwashing. The degree of health risk perceptions and handwashing behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic opens essential lessons for delivering water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs across the globe. We measured the relationship between COVID-19 risk perception and the handwashing behavior of 386 Filipinos in a highly urbanized city in the Philippines. Self-made COVID-19 risk perception scale (CRPS) (Cronbach's α 0.93) and handwashing behavior scale (HBS) (Cronbach's α 0.84) were administered face-to-face. The results show that the overall handwashing behavior has a median of 4.1 (frequently), while the interquartile range (IQR) is 0.5. Regression analysis revealed that COVID-19 risk perception has a significant positive association with overall handwashing behavior (B=0.369, p-value <0.05). The COVID-19 risk perception accounts for 36.9% of the variance in handwashing behavior, F (1, 384) =11.6360, p-value=0.0007. This study proposes that public health authorities target people's experiential learning style in designing and delivering intervention programs against non-compliance with proper handwashing.

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijphs.v13i3.23993


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International Journal of Public Health Science (IJPHS)
p-ISSN: 2252-8806, e-ISSN: 2620-4126

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