Psychological Behavior and Compliance of the General Population with Facemasks during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for the Future
Background: Globally people have succumbed to viral infections that posed a stupendous threat. Community wearing of facemask helped lowering the incidence of COVID-19. The objective was to determine the public opinion regarding prolonged mask-wearing practice, and to find out the behavioral differences as pertinent compensations for not wearing that may help combat pandemics because of emerging infections.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study carried out in the outpatient departments of Military Hospital (MH) Rawalpindi, Pakistan from January to June 2021 after ethical approval. Participants selected by non-probability convenience sampling technique of different residential, economic and educational backgrounds, above 16 years of age, from both genders to give their opinion on a validated questionnaire, “Multidimensional face mask perceptions scale” with eight domains.
Results: Among 175 participants, almost 81.7% participants were of the view that when they do not wear mask it is because facemasks get overheated and disrupt the breathing, 60.6% adopted compensation ways by avoiding people and 45.7% considered its wearing a hassle. Female participants felt more uncomfortable by disrupted breathing (p =0.029), male participants reflected about value of independence (p<0.001), and participants from rural area thought a difficult access to get facemasks (p =0.003).
Conclusion: The most likely reason for not wearing mask among participants was uncomfortable breathing. The other reasons includes adopting social distancing guidelines as a compensatory measure, finding facemask wearing practice a hassle, interference with freedom and access issues by rural population. Designing and implementing awareness sessions may halt such spread of pandemics because of emerging infections.
Copyright (c) 2022 Samreen Misbah, Shiza Maheen, Memoona Mumtaz, Yumna Rubab
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