Previous studies have highlighted the importance of promoting health literacy and minimizing misinformation to encourage higher adherence to key public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study explores how one’s self-reported understanding of information and types of sources used to get information regarding COVID-19 can hinder adherence to public health measures implemented by the Canadian government. Data was collected following a longitudinal design of 11 time points for April 2020 to April 2021. The sub-sample used for this study included 2659 Canadians who completed the survey for at least four time points. Using Latent Class Growth Analysis, we modelled typical trajectories of adherence to three key public health measures: staying home, social distancing and mask wearing. Overall, a lower level of understanding was associated with lower adherence trajectories to public health measures, and vice-versa. Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) showed that the higher the level of understanding, the higher were the chances of following a high adherence trajectory. The type of used sources also showed a significant statistical association with adherence trajectories for social distancing and staying home (AOR: between 1.1 and 3.4). These results are discussed considering future policy implications.
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