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COVID-19: Original Article
Associations Between Compliance With Non-pharmaceutical Interventions and Social-distancing Policies in Korea During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Yu Seong Hwang, Heui Sug Jo
J Prev Med Public Health. 2021;54(4):230-237.   Published online June 16, 2021
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  • 178 Download
  • 6 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
This study explored changes in individuals’ behavior in response to social distancing (SD) levels and the “no gatherings of more than 5 people” (NGM5) rule in Korea during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Using survey data from the COVID-19 Behavior Tracker, exploratory factor analysis extracted 3 preventive factors: maintenance of personal hygiene, avoiding going out, and avoiding meeting people. Each factor was used as a dependent variable. The chi-square test was used to compare differences in distributions between categorical variables, while binary logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with high compliance with measures to prevent transmission.
In men, all 3 factors were significantly associated with lower compliance. Younger age groups were associated with lower compliance with maintenance of personal hygiene and avoiding meeting people. Employment status was significantly associated with avoiding going out and avoiding meeting people. Residence in the capital area was significantly associated with higher compliance with personal hygiene and avoiding venturing out. Increasing SD levels were associated with personal hygiene, avoiding going out, and avoiding meeting people. The NGM5 policy was not significantly associated with compliance.
SD levels, gender, age, employment status, and region had explanatory power for compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Strengthening social campaigns to inspire voluntary compliance with NPIs, especially focused on men, younger people, full-time workers, and residents of the capital area is recommended. Simultaneously, efforts need to be made to segment SD measures into substrategies with detailed guidance at each level.
Korean summary
이 연구에서는 대한민국 정부가 COVID-19 방역 정책으로 시행한 ‘사회적 거리두기 단계 조절’과 ‘5인 이상 집합 금지 조치’에 대한 개인의 순응도를 파악하였다. 이를 위해 영국 임페리얼 대학이 2020년 4월부터 2021년 4월까지 24회에 걸쳐 한국인 총 13,300명에게 개인 행동을 조사한 공개 데이터를 분석하였다. 그 결과, 더 높은 수준의 사회적 거리두기 단계 – 특히 다중이용시설들이 폐쇄되는 2.5 단계 -에서 비약물적 중재 조치의 순응도와 더 강한 상관관계를 보였다. 그러나 5인 이상 집합금지는 순응도와 유의한 상관관계를 보이지 않아 사람들이 모임 인원을 제한할 뿐 지속적으로 모임을 하는 것으로 해석된다. 연령, 성별, 직업 구분, 거주지와 같은 인구-사회학적 특성들이 순응도에 영향을 주는 것으로 나타났으므로, 낮은 순응도를 보이는 인구집단의 순응도를 고취시킬 수 있도록 세부적인 전략 (예: 재택근무, 온라인회의, 온라인 수업 권장 등)이 필요하다.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Behavioural Sciences Contribution to Suppressing Transmission of Covid-19 in the UK: A Systematic Literature Review
    Gill Hubbard, Chantal den Daas, Marie Johnston, Jennifer Dunsmore, Mona Maier, Rob Polson, Diane Dixon
    International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.2024; 31(1): 1.     CrossRef
  • Real-time forecasting of COVID-19 spread according to protective behavior and vaccination: autoregressive integrated moving average models
    Chieh Cheng, Wei-Ming Jiang, Byron Fan, Yu-Chieh Cheng, Ya-Ting Hsu, Hsiao-Yu Wu, Hsiao-Han Chang, Hsiao-Hui Tsou
    BMC Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • The Unequal Effects of Social Distancing Policy on Subway Ridership during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Seoul, South Korea
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    Jeong Hyun Ahn, Jin Young Nam
    Journal of Physical Activity and Health.2022; 19(7): 518.     CrossRef
  • Different patterns of excess all-cause mortality by age and sex in Hungary during the 2nd and 3rd waves of the COVID-19 pandemic
    Vince Fazekas-Pongor, Zsófia Szarvas, Norbert D. Nagy, Anna Péterfi, Zoltán Ungvári, Viktor J. Horváth, Szilvia Mészáros, Adam G. Tabák
    GeroScience.2022; 44(5): 2361.     CrossRef
  • Generic Logic Model for Coronavirus Disease-2019 Responses Based on the South Korean Experience
    Hae-ryoung Chun, Kyuhyun Yoon, Hana Kim, Eunsil Cheon, Jaeyoung Ha, Sangwoo Tak, Sung-il Cho
    Risk Management and Healthcare Policy.2021; Volume 14: 4765.     CrossRef
Original Articles
Pattern of Hepatitis A Incidence According to Area Characteristics Using National Health Insurance Data
Joo Youn Seo, Jae Hee Seo, Myoung Hee Kim, Moran Ki, Hee Suk Park, Bo Youl Choi
J Prev Med Public Health. 2012;45(3):164-173.   Published online May 31, 2012
  • 10,447 View
  • 62 Download
  • 11 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF

Over the past several years, the incidence of hepatitis A infection has been increasing rapidly in the young-adult population in Korea. We examined the effects of area-level socioeconomic status and environmental hygiene on the incidence of hepatitis A.


This study is based on the registered national population of Korea and the national health insurance data from 2004 to 2008. A total of 73 459 individuals were confirmed to have had hepatitis A. The standardized incidences of hepatitis A in 232 districts adjusted for sex and age of people were calculated for each year, and the rate ratios of the incidence rates were estimated according to area-level socioeconomic status and environmental hygiene using multiple Poisson regression models.


The incidence rates of hepatitis A infection were 15.6 (per 100 000) in 2004, 19.0 (per 100 000) in 2005, 27.2 (per 100 000) in 2006, 25.1 (per 100 000) in 2007, and 61.7 (per 100 000) in 2008. The analysis of the area-level effects showed that residential areas of the less deprived than other regions, areas with higher levels of education, and heavily populated areas were significantly associated with increased risk.


There is a very strong possibility that both area-level socioeconomic status and environmental hygiene play a role in increasing the risk of hepatitis A infection in Korea. Therefore, to reduce hepatitis A infection, we need a nationwide strategy that considers these area-level characteristics.



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  • Investigating the spatio-temporal variation of hepatitis A in Korea using a Bayesian model
    Jaehong Jeong, Mijeong Kim, Jungsoon Choi
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Impact of urbanization on morbidity of hepatitis A: a national panel study in China during 2005–2018
    Bo-Wen Ming, Zhou Yang, Ze-Lin Yan, Chen Shi, Xiao-Han Xu, Li Li, Chun-Quan Ou
    Infectious Diseases of Poverty.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • The chronological changes in the seroprevalence of anti-hepatitis A virus IgG from 2005 to 2019: Experience at four centers in the capital area of South Korea
    Dae Hyun Lim, Won Sohn, Jae Yoon Jeong, Hyunwoo Oh, Jae Gon Lee, Eileen L. Yoon, Tae Yeob Kim, Seungwoo Nam, Joo Hyun Sohn
    Medicine.2022; 101(48): e31639.     CrossRef
  • KM-based Treatment of Viral Hepatitis A accompanied with Pancreatitis: A case report
    Chang-Gue Son
    Journal of Korean Medicine.2020; 41(4): 106.     CrossRef
  • Seropositive rate of the anti-hepatitis A immunoglobulin G antibody in maintenance hemodialysis subjects from two hospitals in Korea
    Hyunsuk Kim, Jiwon Ryu, Young-Ki Lee, Myung Jin Choi, Ajin Cho, Ja-Ryong Koo, Sae Yun Baik, Eun Hee Lee, Jong-Woo Yoon, Jung-Woo Noh
    The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine.2019; 34(6): 1297.     CrossRef
  • Age-period-cohort analysis of hepatitis A incidence rates in Korea from 2002 to 2012
    Joo Yeon Seo, Sungyong Choi, BoYoul Choi, Moran Ki
    Epidemiology and Health.2016; 38: e2016040.     CrossRef
  • Low Compliance with National Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of Group 1 Nationally Notifiable Infectious Diseases in Korea
    Eu Suk Kim, Kyoung-Ho Song, Baek-Nam Kim, Yee Gyung Kwak, Chang-Seop Lee, Sang Won Park, Chisook Moon, Kyung Hwa Park, Hee-Chang Jang, Joon-Sup Yeom, Won Sup Oh, Chung-Jong Kim, Hong Bin Kim, Hyun-Sul Lim
    Yonsei Medical Journal.2014; 55(2): 435.     CrossRef
  • Changes in the seroprevalence of IgG anti-hepatitis A virus between 2001 and 2013: experience at a single center in Korea
    Sung Jun Chung, Tae Yeob Kim, Sun Min Kim, Min Roh, Mi Yeon Yu, Jung Hoon Lee, ChangKyo Oh, Eun Young Lee, Seung Lee, Yong Cheol Jeon, Kyo-Sang Yoo, Joo Hyun Sohn
    Clinical and Molecular Hepatology.2014; 20(2): 162.     CrossRef
  • Risk Factors for Acute Hepatitis A Infection in Korea in 2007 and 2009: A Case-Control Study
    Joo Youn Seo, Bo Youl Choi, Moran Ki, Hye Lim Jang, Hee Suk Park, Hyun Jin Son, Si Hyun Bae, Jin Han Kang, Dae Won Jun, Jin-Woo Lee, Young Jin Hong, Young Seok Kim, Chang-Hwi Kim, U Im Chang, Jong-Hyun Kim, Hyeon Woong Yang, Hong Soo Kim, Kyeong Bae Park,
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2013; 28(6): 908.     CrossRef
  • Letter to the Editor: The Increasing Hepatitis A Incidence in Korea: Is It Possible Within a Limited Time?
    Pegah Karimi Elizee, Seyed Moayed Alavian, Seyyed Mohammad Miri
    Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.2012; 45(5): 329.     CrossRef
  • Author Response: The Increasing Hepatitis A Incidence in Korea: Is It Possible Within a Limited Time?
    Joo Youn Seo, Moran Ki, Bo Youl Choi
    Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.2012; 45(5): 331.     CrossRef
Assessment of Applicability of Standardized Rates for Health State Comparison Among Areas: 2008 Community Health Survey.
Geun Yong Kwon, Do Sang Lim, Eun Ja Park, Ji Sun Jung, Ki Won Kang, Yun A Kim, Ho Kim, Sung Il Cho
J Prev Med Public Health. 2010;43(2):174-184.
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  • 46 Download
  • 6 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
This study shows the issues that should be considered when applying standardized rates using Community Health Survey(CHS) data. METHODS: We analyzed 2008 CHS data. In order to obtain the reliability of standardized rates, we calculated z-score and rank correlation coefficients between direct standardized rate and indirect standardized rate for 31 major indices. Especially, we assessed the change of correlations according to population composition (age and sex), and characteristics of the index. We used Mantel-Haenszel chi-square to quantify the difference of population composition. RESULTS: Among 31 major indices, 29 indices' z-score and rank correlation coefficients were over 0.9. However, regions with larger differences in population composition showed lower reliability. Low reliability was also observed for the indices specific to subgroups with small denominator such as 'permanent lesion from stroke', and the index with large regional variations in age-related differences such as 'obtaining health examinations'. CONCLUSIONS: Standardized rates may have low reliability, if comparison is made between areas with extremely large differences in population composition, or for indicies with large regional variations in age-related differences. Therefore, the special features of standardized rates should be considered when health state are compared among areas.


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  • Ambient air quality and subjective stress level using Community Health Survey data in Korea
    Myung-Jae Hwang, Hae-Kwan Cheong, Jong-Hun Kim, Youn Seo Koo, Hui-Young Yun
    Epidemiology and Health.2018; 40: e2018028.     CrossRef
  • Illustration of Calculating Standardized Rates Utilizing Logistic Regression Models: The National Health Insurance Service-National Health Screening Cohort (NHIS-HEALS)
    Sang-Hoon Cho, Gunseog Kang, Hyeon Chang Kim
    Journal of Health Informatics and Statistics.2017; 42(1): 70.     CrossRef
  • Korea Community Health Survey Data Profiles
    Yang Wha Kang, Yun Sil Ko, Yoo Jin Kim, Kyoung Mi Sung, Hyo Jin Kim, Hyung Yun Choi, Changhyun Sung, Eunkyeong Jeong
    Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives.2015; 6(3): 211.     CrossRef
  • Health behavior affecting on the regional variation of standardized mortality
    Jin A Han, Soo Jeong Kim, Se Rom Kim, Ki Hong Chun, Yun Hwan Lee, Soon Young Lee
    Korean Journal of Health Education and Promotion.2015; 32(3): 23.     CrossRef
  • Convergence-based analysis on geographical variations of the smoking rates
    Ji-Hye Lim, Sung-Hong Kang
    Journal of Digital Convergence.2015; 13(8): 375.     CrossRef
  • Overview of Korean Community Health Survey
    Young Taek Kim, Bo Youl Choi, Kay O Lee, Ho Kim, Jin Ho Chun, Su Young Kim, Duk-Hyoung Lee, Yun A Ghim, Do Sang Lim, Yang Wha Kang, Tae Young Lee, Jeong Sook Kim, Hyun Jo, Yoojin Kim, Yun Sil Ko, Soon Ryu Seo, No-Rye Park, Jong-Koo Lee
    Journal of the Korean Medical Association.2012; 55(1): 74.     CrossRef
Awareness, Treatment, Control, and Related Factors of Hypertension in Gwacheon.
Youn Hee Choi, Chung Mo Nam, Mi Hyun Joo, Ki Tae Moon, Jee Seon Shim, Hyeon Chang Kim, Il Suh
Korean J Prev Med. 2003;36(3):263-270.
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  • 35 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
To identify the factors related to awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in a Gwacheon population. METHODS: This study surveyed 1, 176 Gwacheon residents older than 40 years, and measured blood pressure using a standardized guideline in 1999. The study subjects were 473 adults (175 males, 298 females) with hypertension defined as a systolic blood pressure > or= 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure > or= 90 mmHg or reported treatment with antihypertensive medications. Information on awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension, and sociodemographic and health-related factors was collected through person-to-person interviews with a structured questionnaire. RESULTS: Overall, 252 (53.3%) of hypertensive subjects were aware of their condition, of whom as many as 193 (76.6%) were being treated, and 81 (42.0%) had their blood pressure controlled at the recommended level (< 140/90 mmHg). However, of the 473 subjects found to have hypertension, only 40.8% were being treated, and 17.1% were under control. There were no significant differences in the proportions of awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. In multiple logistic regression models, awareness of hypertension was positively associated with age and family history of hypertension in females. Control of hypertension was also positively associated with having a partner and marital status in females. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that much greater efforts on improving awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension are needed, even in urban community settings, considering related factors such as age, family history, and marital status. However, these factors should be further investigated for their causal relationship.
Perspective on Population Characteristics and Health Problems of Koreans in 21st Century.
Joung Soon Kim
Korean J Prev Med. 1994;27(2):175-185.
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AbstractAbstract PDF
In order to anticipate disease pattern and health problems of Koreans in the 1st part of 21st century(by the year 2020), transition of population characteristics, mortality and morbidity data during the last 30 years Koreans have experienced were reviewed. On the actual basis of epidemiolgic transition process that has undergone during last 30 years since 1960 along with socioeconomic development and successful implementation of selective national health policies(family planning, medical insurance and etc.), following changes can be expected in the 21st century in Korea, under the assumption that the current rate of progress is maintained. The population of South Korea alone will be doubled the population of 1960 by the year 2013;aged population older than 65 years will be increased from 3.3% in 1960 to 11.4% in 2020 with increased average age of the population from 23.6 year in 1970 to 39.2 year in 2020;urban population from 28% in 1960 to 83% in 2005. GNP/capita has increased tremendously from U.S. $120 in 1970 to $6,749 in 1992, and the government estimated it would be $19,350 in 2010 and $29,460 in 2020. Growth and developmental indices of children, educational achievement and social status of women also showed a remarkable improvement and anticipated to make further progress. Leading causes of mortality and morbidity have shown a striking change during the last 30 years, from infectious diseases to chronic degenerative diseases and man-made injuries. Occurrence of communicable diseases may become minimal although viral hepatitis, venereal diseases including AIDS, and well adapted herpes virus infections will maintain their endemic level. Newly evolving infectious agents, however, should be carefully monitored because of rapidly changing environments and human behaviors. Tuberculosis may increase up to the epidemic level when AIDS prevails. Ischemic heart diseases may increase steadily with increasing occurrence of hypertension and diabetes mellitus whereas cerebrovascular diseases may be decreased slowly. Musculaskeletal diseases which contribute a lot to the disability of aged people may be a major health problems due to increased aged population. Mental diseases, particularly that caused by alcohol and drug abuse, and senile dementia may become a prominent health problem. On the other hand injuries caused by traffic and industrial accidents that have shown most striking increase till now may be decreased considerably by intensive intervention. The health policies in the 21st century will be oriented to the health promotion for good quality life rather than life-savings.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health