Risk Perception and Health Precautions Towards COVID-19 Among Older Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Adults in South Australia: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Mohammad Hamiduzzaman, Noore Siddiquee, Helen McLaren, Md Ismail Tareque, Smith Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Risk perceptions and precaution-taking against COVID-19 are affected by individuals’ health status, psychosocial vulnerabilities and cultural dimensions. This cross-sectional study investigates risk perceptions associated with COVID-19 and specifically the problem- and emotion-focused health precautions of older, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) South Australians.
Methods: Cross-sectional research involving self-administration of an online survey. Participants were CALD adults living in South Australia, aged 60 years and above (n = 155). Multi-indicator surveys were analyzed using Stata/MP version 13.0 and multiple linear regression models fitted to examine associations between risk perceptions and problem- and emotion-focused health precautions.
Results: Dread risk returned the highest mean score; COVID-19 was perceived as a catastrophe. Mean scores for fear showed that participants were worried about COVID-19 and scared of becoming infected. Participants followed health advice as they were worried [β 0.15; 95% CI 0.07, 0.23] and realized the effect of COVID-19 on them [β 0.15; 95% CI 0.02, 0.28], or worried and had trust in experts’ knowledge and managing capacity [β 0.17; 95% CI 0.06, 0.28]. Age was negatively associated with sum-score of problem-focused coping: compared to participants aged 60– 69 years, 80+ years revealed a decrease in problem-focused health precautions. Variables like education (primary schooling [β 2.80; 95% CI 0.05, 5.55] and bachelor degree [β 3.16; 95% CI 0.07, 6.25] versus no formal education), self-confidence in reducing risk, and fear [β 0.84; 95% CI 0.31, 1.36] significantly affected emotional-focused health precautions.
Conclusion: This local study has global implications. It showed that COVID-19 has psychosocial and environmental implications for older CALD adults. When many CALD populations have existing vulnerabilities to intersecting disadvantage, cultural-tailoring of interventions and pandemic response plans may buffer the effects of compounding disaster. Larger studies are needed to compare risk perception and health response patterns across countries and cultural groupings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-514
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022


  • culturally and linguistically diverse
  • Older adult
  • risk perception
  • Behavioural and social aspects of health
  • emotional preparedness
  • South Australia


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