There is a need for a measure to monitor adherence to transmission-reducing behaviours (TRBs) during pandemics. An adherence measure can monitor current TRBs, assess change over time and, potentially, predict later behaviours. The TRB adherence measure (scale consisting of seven items) includes questions based on government behavioural directives in Scotland that were common internationally, i.e., physical distancing, face covering and hand hygiene. Data were collected weekly for 6 weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, including a later follow-up repeated measure of some participants, in 20-minute structured telephone surveys with a nationally representative random sample of adults in Scotland. A total of 2969 people completed the adherence items and were highly adherent. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a unidimensional scale (CFI = .95; TLI = .93; RMSEA = .08; SRMR = .08), although internal consistency was low (Cronbach’s alpha = .49). The adherence score significantly predicted adherence to a validity test item (ΔR2 = .114, F(1,2964) = 379.76, p < .001). It also predicted adherence to TRBs later over and above personal habitual styles (Creature of Habit Scale: COHS). The adherence score has been developed for routine monitoring of adherence to TRBs during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be used to predict future similar behaviours and adherence to other behaviours, although it may be necessary to explore adherence to the specific behaviours occasionally. Adherent behaviour for one TRB is likely to be associated with adherence to government directives to other TRBs. Importantly, these TRBs are likely to be crucial in reducing COVID-19 case numbers, as well as protecting against other infectious diseases including influenza and the common cold.


© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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den Daas, C., Johnston, M., Hubbard, G. & Dixon, D. 2022, 'Development of transmission-reducing behaviour adherence measure (TRAM) for monitoring and predicting transmission-reducing behaviours during the pandemic', Psychology, Health and Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2022.2136391

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Last updated: 07 November 2022
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