What were the knowledge, concerns, and behaviours of Italy residents during the first week of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Bottom Line:

During the first week of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, people were well informed and had a stable level of worries that were positively associated with cognitive rigidity and emotional instability.


Pagnini, F. et al. Knowledge, Concerns, and Behaviors of Individuals During the First Week of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic in Italy. JAMA Network Open (2020). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.15821

Date Published:

24 July 2020


A total of 3,109 Italian residents answered an online questionnaire to assess their knowledge and attitudes during the first week of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that most people expressed a good knowledge of COVID-19 and the recommended behaviours. Young people were more sensitive to social appraisal and more inclined to adopt preventive behaviours than older respondents. Geographic proximity and risk perception about contracting COVID-19 did not seem to be significantly associated with the quality of life. The study found that observing other people worried and exhibit irrational contagion-related behaviors (e.g. hoarding at a grocery store) was more associated with psychological well-being than were worries about the virus itself.

Summary by: Mike Ge