Self-Reported Compliance with Personal Preventive Measures among Office Workers After Work Resumption during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Pakistan

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  • 1 Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • | 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences—Ojha Campus, Karachi, Pakistan

As the lockdowns have been lifted to relieve pressure on the economy, strict adherence to personal preventive measures (PPMs) in offices is essential to control the COVID-19 pandemic. This study investigated self-reported compliance with three PPMs among a sample of office workers in Karachi, Pakistan. A cross-sectional survey with participants were adult office workers who had resumed work in Karachi, Pakistan. All full-time employees aged ≥ 18 years who had resumed work in the offices were invited to complete the survey. Of 487 workers who were invited, 411 (84.4%) completed the survey between March 1 and March 20, 2021. We examined the effects of sociodemographic factors, individual-level factors, interpersonal-level factors, and social-structural–level factors using logistic regression models. Of the total sample, 192 (46.7%) reported always wearing a face mask in the workplace. Self-reported sanitizing of hands (46.0%) was comparable to use of face masks, whereas avoiding crowded places (21.2%) was less common. Perceived effectiveness of individual preventive measures (adjusted odds ratios [AORs] from 1.19 to 1.42; confidence intervals (CIs) 1.04–1.37 to CI 1.18–1.71), perceived effectiveness of governmental preventive measures (AORs from 1.23 to 1.39 CI 1.02–1.47 to CI 1.12–1.72), and number of preventive measures implemented by the office (AORs from 1.20 to 1.26 CI 1.09–1.31 to CI 1.13–1.39) were associated with self-reported compliance with PPMs. Perceived preparedness of medical system in Karachi (AOR 1.44, CI 1.08–1.93) was only associated with self-reported sanitizing of hands. Reduced compliance to PPMs was observed; hence, efforts need to be made to ensure strict adherence to PPMs.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Dow University of Health Sciences, B328 Block 6 Gulshan E Iqbal, Karachi, Pakistan 73500. E-mail:

Authors’ addresses: Pankaj Kumar, Aruba Sohail, Mir Umer Farooq Alam Shah, Maman Khurshid, and Farah Yasmin, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mails:,,,, and Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Internal Medicine, Dow University Hospital—Ojha Campus, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: