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Front Public Health ; 9: 630189, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278465

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess and share learnings on the motivators and behavioural adherence across sex and age to evolving strategies in public policy to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 at the end of a first COVID-19 wave and the beginning of a second COVID-19 wave in Australia. Design and Setting: A national longitudinal survey using a framework based on evidence-based behaviour change models. The survey was administered to a national sample representative across sex, age and location was undertaken at two time points: May 1st to 5th, 2020, and July 1st to 7th, 2020. Results: Overall 2,056 surveys were completed across the first and second rounds, with 63% (1,296/2,056) completing both. Age range was 18-99 years (median 53, IQR: 34-64). Suboptimal physical distancing and self-quarantining if unwell/diagnosed was reported in one in four respondents and not getting a test at onset of symptoms reported in one in three. Those non-adherent to all three behaviours (19%, 60/323), were mainly male, younger, lived in major cities and reported fewer concerns or motivators to change behaviour. Overall, government lockdown measures were considered very important by 81% (835/1,032) and appropriate by 75% (772/1,029). Conclusions: Prior to the suppression of a second COVID-19 wave, a significant minority of Australians reported suboptimal behavioural adherence to vital policy strategies to limit SARS-CoV-2 spread, mostly young adults and men. Successful wave 2 suppression required consistent communication from political and health leaders and supportive public health and economic strategies. Additional lockdown and punitive strategies were needed in Victoria and were generally well-supported and adhered to. To limit subsequent lockdown, this work reinforces the need for a mix of communication around saving lives of the vulnerable, and other strategies targeting high risk groups, facilitation of easy testing and minimisation of financial impacts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Communicable Disease Control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Victoria , Young Adult
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