Personal Protective Measures During the Coronavirus Pandemic in Germany

This article was originally published here

Int J Infect Dis. 2022 May 18:S1201-9712(22)00297-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.05.036. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious, and can only be contained if the majority of the population takes measures to protect themselves against infection. The present study aimed at investigating personal protective measures, their development over the course of the pandemic in Germany, and potential differences in behavior regarding gender, age, and education.

METHODS: Data from 20 waves of the serial cross-sectional study “BfR-Corona-Monitor” were analyzed. The total sample consisted of N = 20,317 respondents (about 1,000 per wave). Data were collected via telephone surveys between June 2020 and March 2021.

RESULTS: To protect themselves from infection, participants primarily relied on wearing covers for mouth and nose, keeping their distance from other people and washing their hands thoroughly. Analyses over time showed a strong positive correlation between the number of measures taken and the national incidence rate. Sociodemographic differences also emerged, with women, higher educated as well as younger respondents taking a higher number of protective measures.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that in times of greater infection risks, people adapted accordingly and took more protective measures. However, based on sociodemographic differences, campaigns should especially focus on older, male and lower educated persons to enhance their protective behavior.

PMID:35597554 | PMC:PMC9113954 | DOI:10.1016/j.ijid.2022.05.036