COVID-19 risk perceptions of social interaction and essential activities and inequity in the USA: results from a nationally representative survey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction SARS-CoV-2 has disproportionately affected disadvantaged communities across the USA. Risk perceptions for social interactions and essential activities during the COVID-19 pandemic may vary by sociodemographic factors. Methods We conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1592 adults in the USA to understand risk perceptions related to transmission of COVID-19 for social (eg, visiting friends) and essential activities (eg, medical visits or returning to work). We assessed relationships for activities using bivariate comparisons and multivariable logistic regression modelling, between responses of safe and unsafe, and participant characteristics. Data were collected and analysed in 2020. Results Among 1592 participants, risk perceptions of unsafe for 13 activities ranged from 29.2% to 73.5%. Large gatherings, indoor dining and visits with elderly relatives had the highest proportion of unsafe responses (>58%), while activities outdoor, accessing healthcare and going to the grocery store had the lowest (<36%). Older respondents were more likely to view social gatherings and indoor activities as unsafe but less likely for other activities, such as going to the grocery store and accessing healthcare. Compared with white/Caucasian respondents, black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino respondents were more likely to view activities such as dining and visiting friends outdoor as unsafe. Generally, men versus women, Republicans versus Democrats and independents, and individuals with higher versus lower income were more likely to view activities as safe. Conclusion Evidence-based interventions should be tailored to sociodemographic differences in risk perception, access to information and health behaviours when implementing efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number051882
JournalBMJ open
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • epidemiology
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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