Objective: To identify relevant factors influencing the practice of self-care measures for prevention of the ongoing COVID-19 preventions based on prior evidence-based experiences.
Method: We conducted a literature review of empirical studies conducted between the years 2000 and 2020 focusing on self-care measures in a pandemic situation.
Result: Of the 250 studies identified, 19 studies met inclusion criteria. Sixty-three percent of the eligible studies reported handwashing, 21% reported social distancing, facemask wearing, 11% reported social avoidance and information-seeking behaviour. The identified factors motivating these practices include risk perception, health education and social trust.
Conclusion: We found that public health agencies commonly recommend self-care measures during pandemics. The adherence to them depends on individuals' perception of risk, knowledge about the situation, trust in the government agencies providing the recommendations and empathy that can motivate adherence.
Practice Implication: The public, researchers, and policymakers could learn from the past and present situation to understand what measures are proven relevant and what factors could motivate adherence. More emphasis could be placed on the role of individuals in health promotion and disease prevention as they have been proven to be helpful.
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