Meta-analysis on application of Protection Motivation Theory in preventive behaviors against COVID-19

Int J Disaster Risk Reduct. 2023 Jun 19;103758. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103758. Online ahead of print.


The present study aims to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on quantitative conclusion and appraisal of findings from Protection Motivation Theory to predict protective behaviors against COVID-19. This meta-analysis covered the period between 2019 and 2022. Web of Science, Science Direct, Scopus, Emerald, PubMed, Springer, Sage, Online Wiley Library, Taylor & Francis and ProQuest were searched to find related articles to the study topic. Using Effect Size of Random model, the quality of each study, homogeneous of studies and Publication bias of data were analyzed and assessed by CMA2 software. The results indicate that perceived severity (β=0.197), perceived vulnerability (β=0.160), response efficacy (β=0.251) and self-efficacy (β=0.270) are positively associated with COVID-19 disease. In addition, the results show that Response cost (β=-0.074) is a negative and weak predictor of motivation to protect against COVID-19. The results of this study regarding Protection Motivation Theory (PMT)- as a very strong and flexible theory during outbreak of COVID-19- may suggest that despite positive protection, the mean of Effect Size of total PMT elements is less than average size. Meta-analysis of studies shows that coping appraisal variables provide the strongest predictors of behavior and intention. Furthermore, self-efficacy was identified as the most important determinant in protective behaviors against COVID-19.

Keywords: Coping appraisal; Meta-analysis; Perceived severity; Perceived vulnerability; Protection Motivation Theory (PMT); Response efficacy; Self-efficacy; Threat appraisal.

Publication types

  • Review