IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 2161: Preventive Behavioral Responses to the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Outbreak in Korea (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
This study examined the public’s preventive behavioral responses during the 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak in Korea and the influencing factors. Two cross-sectional telephone surveys were conducted by Gallup Korea using random digit dialing in June 2015 (n = 2004). The main outcome variables were nonpharmaceutical preventive measures (survey (1): Measures for reducing transmission (handwashing, face masks); and survey (2): Measures for avoiding contact with others). Multiple logistic regression was used to identify the factors influencing preventive behaviors. In survey (1), 60.3% of respondents reported more frequent handwashing and 15.5% reported wearing face masks at least once due to the MERS-CoV epidemic. In survey (2), 41–56% of respondents reported practicing avoidance measures. The concerned group was more likely to practice reducing transmission measures (odds ratio (OR) 4.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.3–6.1) and avoidance measures (OR = 9.6; 95% CI, 6.4–14.4). The respondents who had low trust in president or ruling party had a higher practice rate of reducing transmission measures (OR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2–2.6) and avoidance measures (OR = 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2–3.5). Cooperative prevention measures need appropriated public concern based on effective risk communication.