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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-26

Coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic and compliance with precautionary health behaviors: An online study among the Saudi adult population

1 College of Medicine, Taif University, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Psychological Medicine, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
3 Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
4 Centre for Medical and Health Science Education, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Correspondence Address:
Hussain Alyami
College of Medicine, Taif University, Alhawyah, Taif City
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_222_20

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major morbidity and mortality internationally. Most governments worldwide have enforced precautionary health measures such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and wearing gloves to limit the spread of this disease. In response to major health and economic stressors, individuals exhibit a range of different coping styles. Aim: The aim of this study is to identify coping strategies that are predictive of compliance with pandemic-related precautionary health behaviors in Saudi Arabia. Settings: A cross-sectional study was conducted online with a total of 1029 Saudi adult participants. Materials and Methods: The Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) questionnaire was administered as well as appraising the level of compliance with the Saudi Ministry of Health precautionary measures. Multiple regression analyses explored the associations between coping styles and precautionary health behavior compliance. Statistical Analysis: Multivariate multiple regression and linear regression analyses were used to analyze the data. Results: The active coping and religion Brief COPE subscales as well as age predicted compliance with all precautionary measures. The behavioral disengagement Brief COPE subscale predicted hand washing and social distancing while the substance use Brief COPE subscale and sex predicted wearing gloves. Conclusion: Compliance with COVID-19-related precautionary health behaviors is driven by different coping styles. Active coping and religion appeared to influence all three health behaviors which might guide public health officials in their efforts to develop effective public health campaigns, which further suggests the importance of involving the religious institutions in Saudi Arabia.

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