Predisposition to severe forms of COVID-19 and adherence to preventive measures: the role of social support

Nair Tavares Milhem Ygnatios Fabíola Bof de Andrade Maria Fernanda Lima-Costa Juliana Lustosa Torres About the authors

Abstract

This study sought to assess the adherence to preventive measures among the elderly more prone to severe forms of COVID-19, and the association and interaction with social support. It is a cross-sectional study conducted with a sample of 3,477 participants of the telephone survey of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSI-COVID-19 initiative), who reported going out of the home in the past week. The adherence was based on the frequency of leaving the house, the need to venture outside the home, use of masks, and sanitization of hands. Statistical analysis was based on the Poisson model with robust variance. Predisposing factors for severe forms of COVID-19 included age ≥65 years, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Social support included living arrangements and social distancing during the pandemic. Approximately 46% of the participants showed higher adherence, which was positively associated with the number of predisposing factors for severe forms of COVID-19. Social support was not associated with adherence, nor was this association modified after adjustments. The conclusion drawn is that higher adherence is concentrated among the elderly with greater predisposition to severe forms of COVID-19, irrespective of social support, albeit preventive measures should be adopted by all.

Key words:
Social support; COVID-19; Predisposing factors; Preventive measures

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