Attitudes toward mask wearing in Malaysia during the COVID pandemic
Keywords:Confinement, COVID-19, facemask, inter-item, obligation, perception
The rapid dispersion of COVID-19 occurred after the two large religious gatherings in Malaysia. To restrain the transmission of COVID-19 the government of Malaysia recommended using face masks with physical distancing, using hand wash and executing several confinement periods. This study aimed to assess the changing mindset of Malaysians about face masks through a hypothetico-deductive technique with the combination of the theory of Planned Behavior. We also used five-point-Likert scale ranging 1-5. The majority of respondents firmly concurred that it was a good idea (mean = 4.80) to start wearing a face mask. Additionally, they have a tendency to wear masks (mean = 4.84) and request that their loved ones (mean = 4.74), family members (mean = 4.79) and friends (mean = 4.76) do the same. Respondents believe that they have a moral obligation to wear a face mask when they go out. The majority understood the advantages of wearing face masks (mean = 4.70), had a favorable opinion (mean = 4.69) and felt morally obligated (mean = 4.69) to do so. This statement was supported by our inter-item correlation. The respondents thought wearing a face mask during the COVID-19 confinement period was beneficial and reduce the possibility of COVID-19 infection; it increased their positive perception (61.6%) and their tendency (56.9%) to wear a face mask while their moral obligation to wear a mask (53.9%) also increased. The outcomes of this study may support health policymakers to formulate a suitable guideline on what to do if such a pandemic occurs again in the future.
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APH is published as a diamond open-access journal under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.