Introduction: The main focus of our study was on prevalence and potential explanatory factors related to personal protective measures (e.g., face mask wearing and physical distancing) in the southeastern Iranian population during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Methods: A total of 351 participants in southeastern Iran were examined in this cross-sectional study using self-report scales of personality traits, COVID-19 risk perception, face mask wearing, physical distancing, and public trust. The data were analyzed by SPSS v25 software at the significance level of p<0.05.
Results: Descriptive statistics showed that the prevalence rates of COVID-19 risk perception and face mask wearing among participants were 76.4% and 77.8%, respectively. In addition, 59.6% of participants reported that they maintained an adequate distance when communicating with others; 41.9% acknowledged that they did not allow relatives and friends to visit them at home; 46.8% said they preferred to stay at home and not go outside unless necessary. Furthermore, multiple regression analysis revealed that older age, being female, lower levels of neuroticism and higher levels of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, COVID-19 risk perception, and public trust were associated with higher adherence to personal protective measures.
Conclusions: These results emphasized the importance of individual differences in reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic and provided essential information about related factors of personal protective measures. However, further investigations should be carried out due to inconsistent findings concerning the roles of age, gender, education, income, and neuroticism in adopting personal protective measures.