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Motivations and Barriers for the Use of Face Coverings during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Messaging Insights from Focus Groups.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 12 12; 17(24)IJ

Abstract

Widespread use of face coverings is a key public health strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, few studies have examined why Americans use or do not use face coverings, and little is known about the most effective messaging strategies. This study explored perceptions of face coverings, including motivations and barriers for use, and examined reactions to messaging promoting the use of face coverings. Six virtual focus groups were conducted with 34 North Carolina residents in July 2020. Participants reported high compliance with face covering recommendations but often did not wear them around family, friends, and colleagues. The most prevalent motivation for the use of face coverings was to protect or respect other people, including high-risk populations and individuals. Other motivators were self-protection, responsibility, desire for control, requirements, and expert advice. Barriers included physical and social discomfort, confusion or misinformation, low perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, and perceptions of identity and autonomy. Even among individuals who frequently wear face coverings, there are opportunities to improve compliance. Messaging should highlight how face coverings protect the wearer and others around them, normalize the use of face coverings in social settings, and emphasize requirements. Positive messages that focus on unity, personal experiences and the rationale for face coverings are recommended.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Rosenau Hall, CB #7400, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Carolina Population Center, 123 West Franklin St., Suite 210, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Rosenau Hall, CB #7400, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.Hussman School of Journalism and Media, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 117 Carroll Hall CB#3365, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB#7295, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.Carolina Population Center, 123 West Franklin St., Suite 210, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Rosenau Hall, CB #7400, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Rosenau Hall, CB #7400, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Carolina Population Center, 123 West Franklin St., Suite 210, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Rosenau Hall, CB #7400, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB#7295, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.Hussman School of Journalism and Media, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 117 Carroll Hall CB#3365, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Rosenau Hall, CB #7400, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB#7295, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Rosenau Hall, CB #7400, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Carolina Population Center, 123 West Franklin St., Suite 210, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB#7295, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33322672

Citation

Shelus, Victoria S., et al. "Motivations and Barriers for the Use of Face Coverings During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Messaging Insights From Focus Groups." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 24, 2020.
Shelus VS, Frank SC, Lazard AJ, et al. Motivations and Barriers for the Use of Face Coverings during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Messaging Insights from Focus Groups. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(24).
Shelus, V. S., Frank, S. C., Lazard, A. J., Higgins, I. C. A., Pulido, M., Richter, A. P. C., Vandegrift, S. M., Vereen, R. N., Ribisl, K. M., & Hall, M. G. (2020). Motivations and Barriers for the Use of Face Coverings during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Messaging Insights from Focus Groups. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(24). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249298
Shelus VS, et al. Motivations and Barriers for the Use of Face Coverings During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Messaging Insights From Focus Groups. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 12 12;17(24) PubMed PMID: 33322672.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Motivations and Barriers for the Use of Face Coverings during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Messaging Insights from Focus Groups. AU - Shelus,Victoria S, AU - Frank,Simone C, AU - Lazard,Allison J, AU - Higgins,Isabella C A, AU - Pulido,Marlyn, AU - Richter,Ana Paula C, AU - Vandegrift,Sara M, AU - Vereen,Rhyan N, AU - Ribisl,Kurt M, AU - Hall,Marissa G, Y1 - 2020/12/12/ PY - 2020/11/12/received PY - 2020/12/04/revised PY - 2020/12/10/accepted PY - 2020/12/16/entrez PY - 2020/12/17/pubmed PY - 2020/12/29/medline KW - COVID-19 KW - face coverings KW - health behavior KW - health communication KW - masks JF - International journal of environmental research and public health JO - Int J Environ Res Public Health VL - 17 IS - 24 N2 - Widespread use of face coverings is a key public health strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, few studies have examined why Americans use or do not use face coverings, and little is known about the most effective messaging strategies. This study explored perceptions of face coverings, including motivations and barriers for use, and examined reactions to messaging promoting the use of face coverings. Six virtual focus groups were conducted with 34 North Carolina residents in July 2020. Participants reported high compliance with face covering recommendations but often did not wear them around family, friends, and colleagues. The most prevalent motivation for the use of face coverings was to protect or respect other people, including high-risk populations and individuals. Other motivators were self-protection, responsibility, desire for control, requirements, and expert advice. Barriers included physical and social discomfort, confusion or misinformation, low perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, and perceptions of identity and autonomy. Even among individuals who frequently wear face coverings, there are opportunities to improve compliance. Messaging should highlight how face coverings protect the wearer and others around them, normalize the use of face coverings in social settings, and emphasize requirements. Positive messages that focus on unity, personal experiences and the rationale for face coverings are recommended. SN - 1660-4601 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33322672/Motivations_and_Barriers_for_the_Use_of_Face_Coverings_during_the_COVID_19_Pandemic:_Messaging_Insights_from_Focus_Groups_ L2 - https://www.mdpi.com/resolver?pii=ijerph17249298 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -