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1.
Social Science & Medicine ; : 114946, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1757841

ABSTRACT

Objectives Physical distancing, defined as keeping 1–2m apart when co-located, can prevent cases of droplet or aerosol transmitted infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, distancing was a recommendation or a requirement in many countries. This systematic review aimed to determine which interventions and behavior change techniques (BCTs) are effective in promoting adherence to distancing and through which potential mechanisms of action (MOAs). Methods Six databases were searched. The review included studies that were (a) conducted on humans, (b) reported physical distancing interventions, (c) included any comparator (e.g., pre-intervention versus post-intervention;randomized controlled trial), and (d) reported actual distancing or predictors of distancing behavior. Risk of bias was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. BCTs and potential MoAs were identified in each intervention. Results Six reports (with seven studies and 19 comparisons) indicated that distancing interventions could successfully change MoAs and behavior. Successful BCTs (MoAs) included feedback on behavior (e.g., motivation);information about health consequences, salience of health consequences (e.g., beliefs about consequences), demonstration (e.g., beliefs about capabilities), and restructuring the physical environment (e.g., environmental context and resources). The most promising interventions were proximity buzzers, directional systems, and posters with loss-framed messages that demonstrated the behaviors. Conclusions The evidence indicates several BCTs and potential MoAs that should be targeted in interventions and highlights gaps that should be the focus of future research.

3.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0264618, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702912

ABSTRACT

Shopping behaviour in response to extreme events is often characterized as "panic buying" which connotes irrationality and loss of control. However, "panic buying" has been criticized for attributing shopping behaviour to people's alleged psychological frailty while ignoring other psychological and structural factors that might be at play. We report a qualitative exploration of the experiences and understandings of shopping behaviour of members of the public at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 23 participants, we developed three themes. The first theme addresses people's understandings of "panic buying". When participants referred to "panic buying" they meant observed product shortages (rather than the underlying psychological processes that can lead to such behaviours), preparedness behaviours, or emotions such as fear and worry. The second theme focuses on the influence of the media and other people's behaviour in shaping subsequent shopping behaviours. The third theme addresses the meaningful motivations behind increased shopping, which participants described in terms of preparedness; some participants reported increased shopping behaviours as a response to other people stockpiling, to reduce their trips to supermarkets, or to prepare for product shortages and longer stays at home. Overall, despite frequently using the term 'panic', the irrationalist connotations of "panic buying" were largely absent from participants' accounts. Thus, "panic buying" is not a useful concept and should not be used as it constructs expected responses to threat as irrational or pathological. It can also facilitate such behaviours, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consumer Behavior , Hoarding/psychology , Panic , Public Opinion , Anxiety/psychology , Fear/psychology , Humans , Pandemics
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310034

ABSTRACT

ObjectivesPhysical-distancing (i.e., keeping 1-2m apart when co-located) can prevent cases of infectious-diseases spread by droplets/aerosols (i.e. SARS-COV2). Distancing is a recommendation/requirement in many countries. This systematic-review aimed to determine which interventions and behaviour change techniques (BCTs) are effective in promoting adherence to physical-distancing and through which potential mechanisms of action (MOAs). MethodsSix databases were searched for studies of physical-distancing interventions. A narrative synthesis included any design that included a comparator (e.g., pre-intervention versus post-intervention;randomised controlled trial), for any population and year. Risk-of-bias was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. BCTs and potential MoAs were identified in each intervention.. ResultsSix papers of moderate/high quality indicated that distancing interventions could successfully change MoAs/behaviour. Successful BCTs (MoAs) included feedback on behaviour (e.g., motivation);information about/ salience of health consequences (e.g., beliefs about consequences) and demonstration (e.g., beliefs about capabilities) and restructuring the physical environment (e.g., environmental context and resources). The most promising interventions were proximity buzzers, directional systems and posters with loss-framed messages that demonstrated the behaviours. ConclusionsHigh quality RCTs that measure behaviour, have representative samples and specify/test a larger range of BCTs /MoAs are needed.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309714

ABSTRACT

This article reviews the behavioural risks and possible mitigations for re-opening large venues for sports and music events when Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalizations begin to decline. We describe the key variables that we suggest will affect public behaviour relevant to the spread of the virus, drawing upon four sources: (1) relevant evidence and recommendations from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours produced for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE);(2) research evidence from non-pandemic conditions;(3) research on behaviour during the pandemic;and (4) relevant theory. We first outline some basic risks and a framework for understanding collective behaviour at live events. We then survey some trends in UK public behaviour observed over 2020 and how these might interact with the opening of live events and venues. We present a range of mitigation strategies, based on the framework for collective behaviour and on what is known about non-pharmaceutical (i.e. behavioural) interventions in relation to Covid-19.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308082

ABSTRACT

Background: Public health emergencies require rapid responses from experts. Differing viewpoints are common in science, however, “mixed messaging” of varied perspectives can undermine credibility of experts, reduce trust in guidance, and act as a barrier to changing public health behaviours. Collation of a unified voice for effective knowledge creation and translation can be challenging. This work aimed to create a method for rapid psychologically-informed expert guidance during the COVID-19 response. Method: TRICE (Template for Rapid Iterative Consensus of Experts) brings structure, peer-review, and consensus to the rapid generation of expert advice. It was developed and trailed with 17 core members of the British Psychological Society COVID-19 Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce. Results: Using TRICE, we have produced 15 peer-reviewed COVID-19 guidance documents based on rapid systematic reviews, co-created by experts in behavioural science and public health, taking 4-155 days to produce, with approximately 17 experts and a median of 10 drafts per output. We provide worked-examples and key considerations, including a shared ethos and theoretical/methodological framework, in this case, the Behaviour Change Wheel and COM-B. Conclusion: TRICE extends existing consensus methodologies and has supported public health collaboration, co-creation of guidance and translation of behavioural science through explicit processes in generating expert advice for public health emergencies.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323174

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global health crisis. Because the crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behavior with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. Here we discuss evidence from a selection of research topics relevant to pandemics, including work on navigating threats, social and cultural influences on behaviour, science communication, moral decision-making, leadership, and stress and coping. In each section, we note the nature and quality of prior research, including uncertainty and unsettled issues. We identify several insights for effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also highlight important gaps researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months.

8.
Health Policy ; 126(3): 234-244, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620689

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the complex relationship between science and policy. Policymakers have had to make decisions at speed in conditions of uncertainty, implementing policies that have had profound consequences for people's lives. Yet this process has sometimes been characterised by fragmentation, opacity and a disconnect between evidence and policy. In the United Kingdom, concerns about the secrecy that initially surrounded this process led to the creation of Independent SAGE, an unofficial group of scientists from different disciplines that came together to ask policy-relevant questions, review the evolving evidence, and make evidence-based recommendations. The group took a public health approach with a population perspective, worked in a holistic transdisciplinary way, and were committed to public engagement. In this paper, we review the lessons learned during its first year. These include the importance of learning from local expertise, the value of learning from other countries, the role of civil society as a critical friend to government, finding appropriate relationships between science and policy, and recognising the necessity of viewing issues through an equity lens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Communication , Emergencies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
10.
Br J Soc Psychol ; 2021 Dec 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583667

ABSTRACT

A key requirement of COVID-19 pandemic behavioural regulations in many countries was for people to 'physically distance' from one another, which meant departing radically from established norms of everyday human sociality. Previous research on new norms has been retrospective or prospective, focusing on reported levels of adherence to regulations or the intention to do so. In this paper, we take an observational approach to study the embodied and spoken interactional practices through which people produce or breach the new norm. The dataset comprises 20 'self-ethnographic' fieldnotes collected immediately following walks and runs in public spaces between March and September 2020, and these were analysed in the ethnomethodological tradition. We show that and how the new norm emerged through the mutual embodied and spoken conduct of strangers in public spaces. Orientations to the new norm were observed as people torqued their bodies away from each other in situations where there was insufficient space to create physical distance. We also describe how physical distance was produced unilaterally or was aggressively resisted by some people. Finally, we discuss the practical and policy implications of our observations both for deciding what counts as physical distancing and how to support the public to achieve it.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292854

ABSTRACT

Adult social care has been a major focus of public attention and infection control guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a high mortality both for carers and those receiving care. To protect themselves and others from infection, staff in residential and domiciliary care settings had to quickly adapt to infection control measures that heavily impacted on their working and every-day life, whilst navigating new responsibilities, uncertainties and anxieties. We sought to explore the production and reception of guidance and look at ways these can be adapted to improve the working life of care staff in domiciliary and residential care whilst reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission amid this pandemic and of future emerging infections. We conducted two complementary and integrated systematic reviews of published documents in the pre-vaccination era: (1) National guidance for social care (conducted between 29 July to 28 October 2020), and (2) Newspaper coverage of infection control issues in social care (conducted between 27th July to 10th September 2020). Three higher order common themes emerged in the integrated systematic review of guidance documents and newspaper articles: a) Testing, b) Personal Protective Equipment, c) Employment. The reviews revealed a sharp disjunction between the content of infection control guidance and its usability and applicability in social care settings. We suggest that infection control guidance needs to be better adapted to social care settings and informed by the sector. The practicalities of care work and care settings need to be at the core of the process for guidance to be relevant and effective. Modes and timings of communications also need to be optimised.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292653

ABSTRACT

Shopping behaviour in response to extreme events is often characterized as “panic buying” which connotes irrationality and loss of control. However, “panic buying” has been criticized for attributing shopping behaviour to people’s alleged psychological frailty while ignoring other psychological and structural factors that might be at play. We report a qualitative exploration of the experiences and understandings of shopping behaviour of members of the public at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 23 participants we developed three themes. The first theme addresses people’s understandings of “panic buying”. When participants referred to “panic buying” they meant observed product shortages (rather than the underlying psychological processes that can lead to such behaviours), preparedness behaviours, or emotions such as fear and worry. The second theme focuses on the influence of the media and other people’s behaviour in shaping subsequent shopping behaviours. The third theme addresses the meaningful motivations behind increased shopping, which participants described in terms of preparedness;some participants reported increased shopping behaviours as a response to other people stockpiling, to reduce their trips to supermarkets, or to prepare for product shortages and longer stays at home. Overall, despite frequently using the term ‘panic’, the irrationalist connotations of “panic buying” were largely absent from participants’ accounts. Thus, “panic buying” is not a useful concept and should not be used as it constructs expected responses to threat as irrational or pathological. It can also facilitate such behaviours, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

14.
Front Psychol ; 12: 716202, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505939

ABSTRACT

Mutual aid groups have been an indispensable part of the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have provided many forms of support, in particular grocery shopping which has enabled people to self-isolate if required. While community solidarity during emergencies and disasters is common, previous studies have shown that such solidarity behaviors tend to decline over time, even when needs remain high. In this study, we address how mutual aid groups can be sustained over time in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted 32 interviews with organizers of COVID-19 mutual aid and community support groups in the United Kingdom between September 2020 and January 2021. Based on a reflexive thematic analysis, we identified several community and group level experiences and strategies that were related to sustained participation in COVID-19 mutual aid groups. Meeting community needs over time with localized action and resources and building trust and community-based alliances were foundational elements in the COVID-19 mutual aid groups. Group processes strategies, such as a culture of care and support and regular group meetings, were used to help to sustain involvement. Some experiences resulting from participation in COVID-19 mutual aid groups were also related to sustained participation, including positive emotions (e.g., joy, pride), well-being and sense of efficacy, and an increasing sense of local community belonging and cohesion. Based on these findings, we propose four practical recommendations for sustaining mutual aid groups to assist public engagement with protective behaviors in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We recommend providing practical and financial support to COVID-19 mutual aid groups; to mobilize the knowledge and the experiences acquired by COVID-19 mutual aid groups for developing programs and interventions for addressing the medium and long-term impacts of COVID-19; to prioritize community-level interventions; and to recognize the role of group processes as these have the potential to lead to long-term community responses. These approaches will be key for ensuring that communities effectively recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

16.
Anal Soc Issues Public Policy ; 2021 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476135

ABSTRACT

Mutual aid groups have flourished during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a major challenge is sustaining such groups, which tend to decline following the initial upsurge immediately after emergencies. The present study investigates one possible motivation for continued participation: the well-being benefits associated with psychological membership of groups, as suggested by the "social cure" approach. Interviews were conducted with 11 volunteers in a mutual aid group organized by ACORN, a community union and anti-poverty campaigning organization. Through qualitative analysis, we show that participation provided well-being in different ways: positive emotional experiences, increased engagement in life, improved social relationships, and greater sense of control. Participants also reported some negative emotional experiences. While all interviewees experienced benefits from participation, those who viewed their participation through a political lens were able to experience additional benefits such as feelings of empowerment. Moreover, the benefits conferred by a shared political identity appeared to be qualitatively different from the benefits conferred by other forms of shared identity. The interview data is used to hypothesize an overall process by which participants may come to attain a political identity via mutual aid. These findings have implications for how such groups retain their members and how authorities support these groups.

17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-291441

ABSTRACT

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of mutual aid groups were established on social media and operated as platforms through which people could offer or request social support. Considering the importance of Facebook mutual aid groups during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK but also the lack of empirical papers regarding the trajectories and types of social support rendered available through the groups, our aims in this paper are threefold;first, to examine the trajectory of social support-related activity during the period between March – December 2020;second, to compare offers and requests of support during the peaks of the first and second waves;and third to provide a rich description of the types of social support that were offered or requested through the online mutual aid groups. Our findings suggest that online social support activity declined soon after the peak of the first pandemic wave and, at least in Facebook mutual aid groups, did not reach the levels observed during the first wave. Offers of support during the first wave were higher compared to offers during the second wave, and similar was the case for requests for support. Also, offers for support were higher compared to requests for support during both the first and second wave. Finally, users could use the Facebook mutual aid groups to offer and request various types of practical, emotional, and informational support. Limitations of our study as well as implications are considered.

18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Public health emergencies require rapid responses from experts. Differing viewpoints are common in science, however, "mixed messaging" of varied perspectives can undermine credibility of experts; reduce trust in guidance; and act as a barrier to changing public health behaviours. Collation of a unified voice for effective knowledge creation and translation can be challenging. This work aimed to create a method for rapid psychologically-informed expert guidance during the COVID-19 response. METHOD: TRICE (Template for Rapid Iterative Consensus of Experts) brings structure, peer-review and consensus to the rapid generation of expert advice. It was developed and trialled with 15 core members of the British Psychological Society COVID-19 Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce. RESULTS: Using TRICE; we have produced 18 peer-reviewed COVID-19 guidance documents; based on rapid systematic reviews; co-created by experts in behavioural science and public health; taking 4-156 days to produce; with approximately 18 experts and a median of 7 drafts per output. We provide worked-examples and key considerations; including a shared ethos and theoretical/methodological framework; in this case; the Behaviour Change Wheel and COM-B. CONCLUSION: TRICE extends existing consensus methodologies and has supported public health collaboration; co-creation of guidance and translation of behavioural science to practice through explicit processes in generating expert advice for public health emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consensus , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
19.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1470, 2021 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331934

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Community engagement and volunteering are essential for the public response to COVID-19. Since March 2020 a large number of people in the UK have been regularly doing unpaid activities to benefit others besides their close relatives. Although most mutual aid groups emerged from local neighbourhoods and communities, official public institutions also fostered community volunteering, namely through the community champions scheme. By considering a broad definition of COVID-19 volunteering, this article describes a systematic review of the literature focused on one broad question: What have we learned about COVID-19 volunteering both at the UK national level and the more local community level? METHODS: A rapid review of the literature in peer-reviewed databases and grey literature was applied in our search, following the PRISMA principles. The search was conducted from 10 to 16 of October 2020, and sources were included on the basis of having been published between January and October 2020, focusing on COVID-19 and addressing community groups, volunteering groups, volunteers, or community champions in the UK. RESULTS: After initial screening, a total of 40 relevant sources were identified. From these, 27 were considered eligible. Findings suggest that food shopping and emotional support were the most common activities, but there were diverse models of organisation and coordination in COVID-19 volunteering. Additionally, community support groups seem to be adjusting their activities and scope of action to current needs and challenges. Volunteers were mostly women, middle-class, highly educated, and working-age people. Social networks and connections, local knowledge, and social trust were key dimensions associated with community organising and volunteering. Furthermore, despite the efforts of a few official public institutions and councils, there has been limited community engagement and collaboration with volunteering groups and other community-based organisations. CONCLUSIONS: We identified important factors for fostering community engagement and COVID-19 volunteering as well as gaps in the current literature. We suggest that future research should be directed towards deepening knowledge on sustaining community engagement, collaboration and community participation over time, during and beyond this pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Participation , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom , Volunteers
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