Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a major threat to public health in the present century. In this situation, adherence to preventive behaviors seriously impacts the prevention of viral diseases. The present study aims to investigate adherence to public health preventive instructions in patients infected with COVID-19 before contracting the disease.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out from November 2020 to March 2021 in Fars province. 3242 patients infected with COVID-19 were selected via multistage sampling. Data were collected using a demographic information form and a researcher-made questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed by Stata v. 14 using the chi-square test. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The average age of participants was 38.45±13.07 years. 48.80% had a high rate, 47.90% had a moderate rate, and only 3.30% had a low compliance rate with COVID-19 preventive instructions. The patients’ main reason for not following preventive behaviors was having to be present in busy places (41.1%). There was a significant correlation between the participants’ age, gender, place of residence, occupation, education, history of underlying diseases (P≤0.001), marital status (P=0.041), and use of masks with a rate of adherence to preventive behaviors(P≤0.001). In the random forest, the job represents 36.75% compliance with COVID-19 preventive guidelines.
Conclusion: Therefore, by raising public awareness, healthcare policymakers and administrators can enhance the public’s observance of the COVID-19 prevention instructions and consequently control the spread of the infection and improve public health during the current crisis caused by the pandemic.