The prevalent cognitive beliefs towards the (Covid-19) pandemic and its relationship to the health behavior Among Saudi society members

Author(s): Ahmed bin Saad bin Nasser Al-Ahmad* and Yahya Mubarak Suleiman Khatatba

This study aimed to reveal the relationship between the prevailing cognitive beliefs during the Covid 19 pandemic among members of the Saudi society. It also aimed to identify the most prevalent cognitive beliefs towards the Covid 19 pandemic among the target study group. Moreover, it attempted to know the pattern of health behavior followed during the pandemic, and to identify the differences in the prevailing cognitive beliefs during the ongoing pandemic as well as the pattern of healthy behavior according to a number of variables (age, gender, place of residence, health status, educational level, specialization, economic status). It is also an attempt to determine the level of relative contribution to predicting the health behavior followed towards the Covid 19 pandemic through the prevailing cognitive beliefs of the study members. The study sample included (847) participants from all members of the Saudi community, who responded to the study tools after verifying their psychometric properties. The results of the study indicated that there are apparent differences in the arithmetic means and standard deviations. The highest arithmetic mean was the cognitive beliefs related to the plot, with an arithmetic mean of (24.15), and the total arithmetic mean of the cognitive beliefs was (84.82) at a high level. With regard to the most prevalent dimensions of healthy behavior, the highest arithmetic means were the psychological and social dimension, with an arithmetic mean of (48.34). Moreover, the total arithmetic mean of healthy behavior was (120.52) at a high level. The results reflected a negative relationship between the prevailing cognitive beliefs during the pandemic and health behavior, and the presence of relationships between the dimensions of the two scales, the absence of differences in the prevailing cognitive beliefs during the Covid 19 pandemic among community members according to the gender variable, health status, and the level of economic income on all dimensions of the scale and the total degree of cognitive beliefs except for the second dimension, where the differences were in favor of males compared to females. It was noted that there are differences in the age variable on all dimensions of the prevailing cognitive beliefs during the pandemic and the overall degree of the tool. The differences were in favor of individuals whose age reached (20-29) years in the first dimension, and in the rest of the dimensions and the total degree. Such differences were according to those aged (40-49) years and over. There were also differences in the scientific specialization and in favor of those with legal specializations compared to the rest of the other groups. There were no statistically significant differences according to the variable of age, gender, and educational level on all dimensions and the overall degree of health behavior, and there were differences in the educational level variable on the health care dimension in favor of those with higher educational level compared to other categories. No differences were found on the other dimensions. Finally, with regard to the level of economic income, the differences came only in the third dimension, taking drugs and medicines in favor of those with income ranging from (10-19) thousand riyals per month compared to other groups. The results showed the possibility of predicting health behavior through the prevailing cognitive beliefs during the pandemic, with an explanation rate of variation that amounted to (-20.2-). It is followed by cognitive beliefs related to conspiracy and cognitive beliefs with a bias towards pessimism.


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