Effects of an automatized psychological inoculation (PI) intervention on anxiety, resilience and adherence to COVID-19 recommendations

Yori Gidron, Einav Levy, Moshe Farchi, Carmit Rapaport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The covid-19 pandemic calls for adherence to multiple health behaviours. While authorities mostly use health information to deal with these issues, such an approach may be insufficient. This study examined the effects of a cognitive method, namely psychological inoculation (PI) + health information (experimental) versus health information alone (control) on anxiety, resilience and adherence. Design: A randomized controlled trial was used. Participants were assigned to the experimental or control conditions, all provided on an automatized computerized system. Main outcome measures: These included anxiety, adherence to the Covid-19 Israeli health ministry’s recommendations, and mental resilience. Participants were assessed before, immediately after and a week after the interventions. Results: Controls increased only in adherence at 1 week compared to baseline. In contrast, those in the PI increased in resilience and adherence and reported lower anxiety immediately after treatment compared to baseline levels. In the PI condition, degree of refuting challenging sentences correlated with less anxiety. Conclusions: Results showed better immediate improvements in anxiety, resilience and intention to adhere in the experimental condition compare to the controls. Authorities may wish to add PI to help the public deal with the effects of such a pandemic and to increase adherence to health recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-554
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Covid-19
  • RCT
  • adherence
  • anxiety
  • psychological inoculation
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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