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Health Beliefs, Protective Behaviors, and Information-Seeking.

Nursing Research 2024 January 9
BACKGROUND: The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused severe damage to public health globally and served as a stark reminder of the potential for future pandemics. Promoting protective behaviors to prevent the spread of any contagious disease thus remains a priority. While research has shown that health beliefs can affect protective behaviors, few studies have examined the role of information-seeking in this relationship.

OBJECTIVE: Based on the health belief model, this research focused on whether health beliefs affect personal protective behaviors through health information-seeking behaviors.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study with a causal-comparative design used an online questionnaire to investigate the Taiwanese public's health beliefs, protective behaviors, and information-seeking behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis.

RESULTS: Between September 2021 and January 2022, 322 valid questionnaires were collected. The results revealed that the effects of two health beliefs-self-efficacy and perceived benefits-on handwashing, social distancing, practicing good cough etiquette, and keeping one's environment clean and well-ventilated were partially mediated by the frequency of official information-seeking.

DISCUSSION: Results of this study support the regular and timely promotion of pandemic prevention measures through official sites. Promoting official information-seeking can help enhance protective behaviors.

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