Who complies with coronavirus disease 2019 precautions and who does not?

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 1;34(4):363-368. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000723.


Purpose of review: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus imposes a higher risk of complications and mortality among people with mental disorders. Until widely available vaccines, adherence to preventive behaviours remains the most crucial tool to prevent SARS/COVID-19 virus transmission. Our review focuses on the determinants of adherence behaviours.

Recent findings: Adherence behaviours include the use of a face mask and protective gloves, personal hygienic behaviours (handwashing or using hand sanitiser), and keeping physical distance and avoiding social gatherings. In almost all studies, males and younger people show less adherence. Risk perception and health beliefs (especially perceived severity of COVID-19 related conditions) can explain the sex and age differences in adherence. Studies covering the impact of mental disorders on adherence are surprisingly missing, with the exception of smoking.

Summary: Engaging men and young people in adopting preventive behaviours is crucial in protecting the whole community and specific vulnerable populations. There is a lack of studies investigating preventive behaviours among people living with mental disorders and addiction problems. Furthermore, descriptive and intervention studies are needed to understand and improve the adherence of this population to preventive behaviours.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hand Disinfection
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masks*
  • Physical Distancing*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sex Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*