Background: The expected second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has started in various
regions of the world. Public health experts warned that it could be as lethal as the first wave if
people did not comply with self-protective measures. Currently, there is a gap in the literature
on the relationship between peoples’ assessment of the effectiveness of community-based
measures regarding adherence to self-protective behaviors for COVID-19 prevention and
control. This study aimed to assess the role of the perceived effectiveness of community-based
measures in adherence to self-protective behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: The cross-sectional online survey conducted from March 24 to June 22, 2020. The study sample Included 400 participants (49% male and 51% female) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The outcome measure was compliance to four self-protective behaviors i.e., “social distancing;” “wearing facemask;” “washing hands more frequently;” and “disinfecting surfaces in homes.” We computed Chi-square statistics and odds ratios (ORs) using 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: The findings demonstrated that participants aged 25–34 years old were 25% less likely
to comply with hand hygiene (OR = 0.75; 95% CI: 0.33–0.95) and social distancing (OR = 0.76;
95% CI: 0.34–0.98). Misconceptions related to COVID-19 significantly decreased compliance
with self-protective behaviors by up to 27%. Participants who rated government decisions as
useful were approximately 1.7 times more likely to comply with self-protective behaviors.
Conclusion: Community-based measures should focus on engaging segments of the population
That are currently less compliant. Health education policies should also focus on enhancing
the perceived sense of control and personal responsibility and reduce anxiety levels. A continuous
commitment to the implementation of preventive interventions and the clarification of misconceptions are required to combat the expected second wave.