Risk perceptions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are considered important as they impact community health behaviors. The aim of this study was to determine the perceived risk of infection and death due to COVID-19 and to assess the factors associated with such risk perceptions among community members in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Methods: An online cross-sectional study was conducted in 10 LMICs in Africa, Asia, and South America from February to May 2021. A questionnaire was utilized to assess the perceived risk of infection and death from COVID-19 and its plausible determinants. A logistic regression model was used to identify the factors associated with such risk perceptions.
Results: A total of 1,646 responses were included in the analysis of the perceived risk of becoming infected and dying from COVID-19. Our data suggested that 36.4% of participants had a high perceived risk of COVID-19 infection, while only 22.4% had a perceived risk of dying from COVID-19. Being a woman, working in healthcare-related sectors, contracting pulmonary disease, knowing people in the immediate social environment who are or have been infected with COVID-19, as well as seeing or reading about individuals infected with COVID-19 on social media or TV were all associated with a higher perceived risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. In addition, being a woman, elderly, having heart disease and pulmonary disease, knowing people in the immediate social environment who are or have been infected with COVID-19, and seeing or reading about individuals infected with COVID-19 on social media or TV had a higher perceived risk of dying from COVID-19.
Conclusions: The perceived risk of infection and death due to COVID-19 are relatively low among respondents; this suggests the need to conduct health campaigns to disseminate knowledge and information on the ongoing pandemic.
Corresponding author: Harapan Harapan
Grant information: This work was supported by Universitas Syiah Kuala, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, H-Index Scheme 2021 (169/UN11/SPK/PNBP/2021), granted to Harapan Harapan.
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Copyright: © 2022 Gachabayov M et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
How to cite: Gachabayov M, Sharun K, Felsenreich DM et al. Perceived risk of infection and death from COVID-19 among community members of low- and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional study [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. F1000Research 2022, 11:345 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.109575.2)