Prevalence of behavioral risk factors that cause contagion with COVID-19 among population in Belarus: results obtained via cross-sectional study

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S.I. Sychik


Scientific Practical Centre of Hygiene, 8 Akademicheskaya Str., Minsk, 220012, Belarus


Our research objects were behavioral risk factors that could cause contagion with coronavirus infection (hereinafter called COVID-19).
Our research goal was to assess prevalence of behavioral risk factors that could cause contagion with COVID-19 among population in Belarus.
The present work contains results obtained via online questioning that included 7,590 respondents and employed a specifically designed questionnaire covering most common behavioral risk factors of contagion with COVID-19. The factors were related to adherence to recommendations on physical and social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, and sticking to personal hygiene rules; the questionnaire also asked respondents to give a subjective estimate of their health and whether they had specific symptoms typical for COVID-19. Data analysis involved assessing prevalence of behavioral risk factors, and occurrence of a relation between specific factors and values of prevalence ratio.
We determined prevalence of the most common behavioral risk factors and assessed to what extent risk factors influenced prevalence of subjective complaints by patients that they had symptoms typical for COVID-19. It was shown that certain behavioral risk factors authentically influenced prevalence of subjective symptoms of the disease. Subjective symptoms were more widely spread among respondents who regularly went to work as well as those whose family members regularly went to work or an educational establishment; among respondents who used public transport, went to shopping centers and catering facilities every day; among respondents who didn’t keep social distance, didn’t pay proper attention to personal hygiene, didn’t use antiseptics, and had a habit to touch their face with their hands; among smoking respondents; among respondents who attended mass events, family and corporate parties; and also respondents whose relatives, close friends, or colleagues had returned from abroad.
Our research results can be used for carrying out information campaigns aimed at COVID-19 prevention; they can also give grounds for performing more profound studies on assessing contributions made by various behavioral factors into risks of contagion with COVID-19.

behavioral risk factors, questionnaire, coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, social distancing, personal hygiene, public health
Sychik S.I. Prevalence of behavioral risk factors that cause contagion with COVID-19 among population in belarus: results obtained via cross-sectional study. Health Risk Analysis, 2020, no. 4, pp. 4–11. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2020.4.01.eng
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