UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Perceived risk factors for severe Covid-19 symptoms and their association with health behaviours: Findings from the HEBECO study

Herbec, A; Brown, J; Jackson, SE; Kale, D; Zatoński, M; Garnett, C; Chadborn, T; (2022) Perceived risk factors for severe Covid-19 symptoms and their association with health behaviours: Findings from the HEBECO study. Acta Psychologica , 222 , Article 103458. 10.1016/j.actpsy.2021.103458. Green open access

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0001691821002080-main.pdf]
Preview
Text
1-s2.0-S0001691821002080-main.pdf - Published Version

Download (548kB) | Preview

Abstract

Risk perceptions are important influences on health behaviours. We used descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression models to assess cross-sectionally risk perceptions for severe Covid-19 symptoms and their health behaviour correlates among 2206 UK adults from the HEBECO study. The great majority (89-99%) classified age 70+, having comorbidities, being a key worker, overweight, and from an ethnic minority as increasing the risk. People were less sure about alcohol drinking, vaping, and nicotine replacement therapy use (17.4-29.5% responding 'don't know'). Relative to those who did not, those who engaged in the following behaviours had higher odds of classifying these behaviours as (i) decreasing the risk: smoking cigarettes (adjusted odds ratios, aORs, 95% CI = 2.26, 1.39-3.37), and using e-cigarettes (aORs = 5.80, 3.25-10.34); (ii) having no impact: smoking cigarettes (1.98; 1.42-2.76), using e-cigarettes (aORs = 2.63, 1.96-3.50), drinking alcohol (aORs = 1.75, 1.31-2.33); and lower odds of classifying these as increasing the risk: smoking cigarettes (aORs: 0.43, 0.32-0.56), using e-cigarettes (aORs = 0.25, 0.18-0.35). Similarly, eating more fruit and vegetables was associated with classifying unhealthy diet as 'increasing risk' (aOR = 1.37, 1.12-1.69), and exercising more with classifying regular physical activity as 'decreasing risk' (aOR = 2.42, 1.75-3.34). Risk perceptions for severe Covid-19 among UK adults were lower for their own health behaviours, evidencing optimism bias. These risk perceptions may form barriers to changing people's own unhealthy behaviours, make them less responsive to interventions that refer to the risk of Covid-19 as a motivating factor, and exacerbate inequalities in health behaviours and outcomes.

Type: Article
Title: Perceived risk factors for severe Covid-19 symptoms and their association with health behaviours: Findings from the HEBECO study
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2021.103458
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2021.103458
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Covid-19, Cross-sectional, Health behaviours, Optimism bias, Risk perceptions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140933
Downloads since deposit
27Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item