Perceptions of COVID-19 risk of essential social interaction and activities and inequality in the United States: results from a nationally representative survey


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BMJ open. 2022 Feb 7;12(2):e051882. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051882.


INTRODUCTION: SARS-CoV-2 has disproportionately affected disadvantaged communities across the United States. Risk perceptions for social interactions and essential activities during the COVID-19 pandemic may vary depending on socio-demographic factors.

METHODS: We conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1592 adults in the United States to understand perceptions of the risks of COVID-19 transmission for social activities (eg, visiting friends) and essential (for example, medical visits or return to work). We assessed relationships for activities using bivariate comparisons and a multivariate logistic regression model, between responses of security and insecurity, and participant characteristics. The data was collected and analyzed in 2020.

RESULTS: Among 1592 participants, perceptions of the risk of insecurity for 13 activities ranged from 29.2% to 73.5%. Large gatherings, dining indoors, and visiting elderly relatives had the highest proportion of unsafe responses (>58%), while outdoor activities, accessing health care, and going to groceries had the lowest (

CONCLUSION: Evidence-based interventions need to be tailored to sociodemographic differences in risk perception, access to information, and health behaviors when implementing efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

PMID:35131820 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051882

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