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1.
TSG ; : 1-4, 2021 Oct 20.
Article in Dutch | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326809

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is an important part of the fight against COVID-19 virus. A predictor of the proportion of people who will actually take a vaccination is the willingness to vaccinate among the population. Literature shows that vaccination willingness among people with lower socioeconomic status is lower than among other groups. In this contribution we describe to what extent this is also the case in the Netherlands and show how risk perception, trust in the effects and safety of the vaccine, and health literacy may be related to this. Finally, we highlight a number of intervention strategies that can make a positive contribution to vaccination willingness among lower educated groups.

2.
Frontiers in public health ; 11, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2256687

ABSTRACT

Background COVID-19 mitigation measures intend to protect public health, but their adverse psychological, social, and economic effects weaken public support. Less favorable trade-offs may especially weaken support for more restrictive measures. Support for mitigation measures may also differ between population subgroups who experience different benefits and costs, and decrease over time, a phenomenon termed "pandemic fatigue.” Methods We examined self-reported support for COVID-19 mitigation measures in the Netherlands over 12 consecutives waves of data collection between April 2020 and May 2021 in an open population cohort study. Participants were recruited through community panels of the 25 regional public health services, and through links to the online surveys advertised on social media. The 54,010 unique participants in the cohort study on average participated in 4 waves of data collection. Most participants were female (65%), middle-aged [57% (40–69 years)], highly educated (57%), not living alone (84%), residing in an urban area (60%), and born in the Netherlands (95%). Results COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented in the Netherlands remained generally well-supported over time [all scores >3 on 5-point scale ranging 1 (low)−5 (high)]. During the whole period studied, support was highest for personal hygiene measures, quarantine and wearing face masks, high but somewhat lower for not shaking hands, testing and self-isolation, and restricting social contacts, and lowest for limiting visitors at home, and not traveling abroad. Women and higher educated people were more supportive of some mitigation measures than men and lower educated people. Older people were more supportive of more restrictive measures than younger people, and support for more socially restrictive measures decreased most over time in higher educated people or in younger people. Conclusions This study found no support for pandemic fatigue in terms of a gradual decline in support for all mitigation measures in the first year of the pandemic. Rather, findings suggest that support for mitigation measures reflects a balancing of benefits and cost, which may change over time, and differ between measures and population subgroups.

3.
JMIR Infodemiology ; 2(2): e33713, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286986

ABSTRACT

Background: Although emerging adults play a role in the spread of COVID-19, they are less likely to develop severe symptoms after infection. Emerging adults' relatively high use of social media as a source of information raises concerns regarding COVID-19-related behavioral compliance (ie, physical distancing) in this age group. Objective: This study aimed to investigate physical distancing among emerging adults in comparison with adults and examine the role of using social media for COVID-19 news and information in this regard. In addition, this study explored the relationship between physical distancing and using different social media platforms and sources. Methods: The secondary data of a large-scale longitudinal national survey (N=123,848) between April and November 2020 were used. Participants indicated, ranging from 1 to 8 waves, how often they were successful in keeping a 1.5-m distance on a 7-point Likert scale. Participants aged between 18 and 24 years were considered emerging adults, and those aged >24 years were considered adults. In addition, a dummy variable was created to indicate per wave whether participants used social media for COVID-19 news and information. A subset of participants received follow-up questions to determine which platforms they used and what sources of news and information they had seen on social media. All preregistered hypotheses were tested with linear mixed-effects models and random intercept cross-lagged panel models. Results: Emerging adults reported fewer physical distancing behaviors than adults (ß=-.08, t86,213.83=-26.79; P<.001). Moreover, emerging adults were more likely to use social media for COVID-19 news and information (b=2.48; odds ratio 11.93 [95% CI=9.72-14.65]; SE 0.11; Wald=23.66; P<.001), which mediated the association with physical distancing but only to a small extent (indirect effect: b=-0.03, 95% CI -0.04 to -0.02). Contrary to our hypothesis, the longitudinal random intercept cross-lagged panel model showed no evidence that physical distancing was not influenced by social media use in the previous wave. However, evidence indicated that social media use affects subsequent physical distancing behavior. Moreover, additional analyses showed that the use of most social media platforms (ie, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram) and interpersonal communication were negatively associated with physical distancing, whereas other platforms (ie, LinkedIn and Twitter) and government messages had no or small positive associations with physical distancing. Conclusions: In conclusion, we should be vigilant with regard to the physical distancing of emerging adults, but the study results did not indicate concerns regarding the role of social media for COVID-19 news and information. However, as the use of some social media platforms and sources showed negative associations with physical distancing, future studies should more carefully examine these factors to better understand the associations between social media use for news and information and behavioral interventions in times of crisis.

4.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1079992, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256688

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 mitigation measures intend to protect public health, but their adverse psychological, social, and economic effects weaken public support. Less favorable trade-offs may especially weaken support for more restrictive measures. Support for mitigation measures may also differ between population subgroups who experience different benefits and costs, and decrease over time, a phenomenon termed "pandemic fatigue." Methods: We examined self-reported support for COVID-19 mitigation measures in the Netherlands over 12 consecutives waves of data collection between April 2020 and May 2021 in an open population cohort study. Participants were recruited through community panels of the 25 regional public health services, and through links to the online surveys advertised on social media. The 54,010 unique participants in the cohort study on average participated in 4 waves of data collection. Most participants were female (65%), middle-aged [57% (40-69 years)], highly educated (57%), not living alone (84%), residing in an urban area (60%), and born in the Netherlands (95%). Results: COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented in the Netherlands remained generally well-supported over time [all scores >3 on 5-point scale ranging 1 (low)-5 (high)]. During the whole period studied, support was highest for personal hygiene measures, quarantine and wearing face masks, high but somewhat lower for not shaking hands, testing and self-isolation, and restricting social contacts, and lowest for limiting visitors at home, and not traveling abroad. Women and higher educated people were more supportive of some mitigation measures than men and lower educated people. Older people were more supportive of more restrictive measures than younger people, and support for more socially restrictive measures decreased most over time in higher educated people or in younger people. Conclusions: This study found no support for pandemic fatigue in terms of a gradual decline in support for all mitigation measures in the first year of the pandemic. Rather, findings suggest that support for mitigation measures reflects a balancing of benefits and cost, which may change over time, and differ between measures and population subgroups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Middle Aged , Female , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Cohort Studies , Self Report
5.
Euro Surveill ; 27(42)2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089698

ABSTRACT

BackgroundDuring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, key persons who were formally or informally active in community organisations and networks, such as sports clubs or cultural, educational, day care and healthcare facilities, occupied a key position between governments and citizens. However, their experiences, the dilemmas they faced and the solutions they generated when implementing COVID-19 measures in their respective settings are understudied.AimWe aimed to understand how key persons in different community organisations and networks experienced and responded to the COVID-19 measures in the Netherlands.MethodsBetween October 2020 and December 2021, the Corona Behavioural Unit at the Dutch national public health institute, conducted qualitative research based on narratives derived from 65 in-depth interviews with 95 key persons from 32 organisations and networks in eight different sectors.ResultsFirstly, key persons enhanced adherence and supported the resilience and well-being of people involved in their settings. Secondly, adherence was negatively affected where COVID-19 measures conflicted with important organisational goals and values. Thirdly, small changes and ambiguities in COVID-19 policy had substantial consequences, depending on the context. Fourthly, problem-solving was achieved through trial-and-error, peer support, co-creation and transparent communication. Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic and measures highlighted inequalities in access to resources.ConclusionPandemic preparedness requires organisational and community preparedness and a multidisciplinary public health approach. Structural engagement of governments with key persons in community organisations and networks is key to enhance public trust and adherence to pandemic measures and contributes to health equity and the well-being of the people involved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health , Netherlands/epidemiology
6.
Soc Sci Med ; 314: 115430, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2069696

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak early 2020 was followed by an unprecedented package of measures. The relative calmness of the pandemic early 2022 provides a momentum to prepare for various scenarios. OBJECTIVES: As acceptance of COVID-19 measures is key for public support we investigated citizens' preferences towards imposing measures in four scenarios: 1) spring/summer scenario with few hospitalizations; 2) autumn/winter scenario with many hospitalizations; 3) a new contagious variant, the impact on hospitalizations is unclear; 4) a new contagious variant, hospitalizations will substantially increase. METHODS: Study 1 comprised a Participatory Value Evaluation (PVE) in which 2011 respondents advised their government on which measures to impose in the four scenarios. Respondents received information regarding the impact of each measure on the risk that the health system would be overloaded. To triangulate the results, 2958 respondents in Study 2 evaluated the acceptability of the measures in each scenario. RESULTS: Measures were ranked similarly by respondents in Study 1 and 2: 1) the majority of respondents thought that hygiene measures should be upheld, even in the spring/summer; 2) the majority supported booster vaccination, working from home, encouraging self-testing, and mandatory face masks from scenario 2 onwards; 3) even in scenario 4, lockdown measures were not supported by the majority. Young respondents were willing to accept more risks for the health system than older respondents. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that policies that focus on prevention (through advising low-impact hygiene measures) and early response to moderate threats (by scaling up to moderately restrictive measures and boostering) can count on substantial support. There is low support for lockdown measures even under high-risk conditions, which further emphasizes the importance of prevention and a timely response to new threats. Our results imply that young citizens' concerns, in particular, should be addressed when restrictive COVID-19 measures are to be implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Administrative Personnel , Communicable Disease Control/methods , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
7.
JMIR infodemiology ; 2(2), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1999557

ABSTRACT

Background Although emerging adults play a role in the spread of COVID-19, they are less likely to develop severe symptoms after infection. Emerging adults’ relatively high use of social media as a source of information raises concerns regarding COVID-19–related behavioral compliance (ie, physical distancing) in this age group. Objective This study aimed to investigate physical distancing among emerging adults in comparison with adults and examine the role of using social media for COVID-19 news and information in this regard. In addition, this study explored the relationship between physical distancing and using different social media platforms and sources. Methods The secondary data of a large-scale longitudinal national survey (N=123,848) between April and November 2020 were used. Participants indicated, ranging from 1 to 8 waves, how often they were successful in keeping a 1.5-m distance on a 7-point Likert scale. Participants aged between 18 and 24 years were considered emerging adults, and those aged >24 years were considered adults. In addition, a dummy variable was created to indicate per wave whether participants used social media for COVID-19 news and information. A subset of participants received follow-up questions to determine which platforms they used and what sources of news and information they had seen on social media. All preregistered hypotheses were tested with linear mixed-effects models and random intercept cross-lagged panel models. Results Emerging adults reported fewer physical distancing behaviors than adults (β=−.08, t86,213.83=−26.79;P<.001). Moreover, emerging adults were more likely to use social media for COVID-19 news and information (b=2.48;odds ratio 11.93 [95% CI=9.72-14.65];SE 0.11;Wald=23.66;P<.001), which mediated the association with physical distancing but only to a small extent (indirect effect: b=−0.03, 95% CI −0.04 to −0.02). Contrary to our hypothesis, the longitudinal random intercept cross-lagged panel model showed no evidence that physical distancing was not influenced by social media use in the previous wave. However, evidence indicated that social media use affects subsequent physical distancing behavior. Moreover, additional analyses showed that the use of most social media platforms (ie, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram) and interpersonal communication were negatively associated with physical distancing, whereas other platforms (ie, LinkedIn and Twitter) and government messages had no or small positive associations with physical distancing. Conclusions In conclusion, we should be vigilant with regard to the physical distancing of emerging adults, but the study results did not indicate concerns regarding the role of social media for COVID-19 news and information. However, as the use of some social media platforms and sources showed negative associations with physical distancing, future studies should more carefully examine these factors to better understand the associations between social media use for news and information and behavioral interventions in times of crisis.

8.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1588, 2022 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002151

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, physical distancing and hand washing have been used as effective means to reduce virus transmission in the Netherlands. However, these measures pose a societal challenge as they require people to change their customary behaviours in various contexts. The science of habit formation is potentially useful for informing policy-making in public health, but the current literature largely overlooked the role of habit in predicting and explaining these preventive behaviours. Our research aimed to describe habit formation processes of physical distancing and hand washing and to estimate the influences of habit strength and intention on behavioural adherence. METHODS: A longitudinal survey was conducted between July and November 2020 on a representative Dutch sample (n = 800). Respondents reported their intentions, habit strengths, and adherence regarding six context-specific preventive behaviours on a weekly basis. Temporal developments of the measured variables were visualized, quantified, and mapped onto five distinct phases of the pandemic. Regression models were used to test the effects of intention, habit strength, and their interaction on behavioural adherence. RESULTS: Dutch respondents generally had strong intentions to adhere to all preventive measures and their adherence rates were between 70% and 90%. They also self-reported to experience their behaviours as more automatic over time, and this increasing trend in habit strength was more evident for physical-distancing than for hand washing behaviours. For all six behaviours, both intention and habit strength predicted subsequent adherence (all ps < 2e-16). In addition, the predictive power of intention decreased over time and was weaker for respondents with strong habits for physical distancing when visiting supermarkets (B = -0.63, p <.0001) and having guests at home (B = -0.54, p <.0001) in the later phases of the study, but not for hand washing. CONCLUSIONS: People's adaptations to physical-distancing and hand washing measures involve both intentional and habitual processes. For public health management, our findings highlight the importance of using contextual cues to promote habit formation, especially for maintaining physical-distancing practices. For habit theories, our study provides a unique dataset that covers multiple health behaviours in a critical real-world setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Habits , Hand Disinfection , Humans , Intention , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Self Report , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
Euro Surveill ; 27(18)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834265

ABSTRACT

Behavioural sciences have complemented medical and epidemiological sciences in the response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As vaccination uptake continues to increase across the EU/EEA - including booster vaccinations - behavioural science research remains important for both pandemic policy, planning of services and communication. From a behavioural perspective, the following three areas are key as the pandemic progresses: (i) attaining and maintaining high levels of vaccination including booster doses across all groups in society, including socially vulnerable populations, (ii) informing sustainable pandemic policies and ensuring adherence to basic prevention measures to protect the most vulnerable population, and (iii) facilitating population preparedness and willingness to support and adhere to the reimposition of restrictions locally or regionally whenever outbreaks may occur. Based on mixed-methods research, expert consultations, and engagement with communities, behavioural data and interventions can thus be important to prevent and effectively respond to local or regional outbreaks, and to minimise socioeconomic and health disparities. In this Perspective, we briefly outline these topics from a European viewpoint, while recognising the importance of considering the specific context in individual countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
10.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1511, 2022 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655617

ABSTRACT

Face masks have been widely employed as a personal protective measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, concerns remain that masks create a false sense of security that reduces adherence to other public health measures, including social distancing. This paper tested whether mask-wearing was negatively associated with social distancing compliance. In two studies, we combined video-observational records of public mask-wearing in two Dutch cities with a natural-experimental approach to evaluate the effect of an area-based mask mandate. We found no observational evidence of an association between mask-wearing and social distancing but found a positive link between crowding and social distancing violations. Our natural-experimental analysis showed that an area-based mask mandate did not significantly affect social distancing or crowding levels. Our results alleviate the concern that mask use reduces social distancing compliance or increases crowding levels. On the other hand, crowding reduction may be a viable strategy to mitigate social distancing violations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Physical Distancing , Female , Humans , Male , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Vaccine ; 40(6): 833-836, 2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593170

ABSTRACT

Vaccination of youth could be key to preventing future outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2. Given the limited direct health benefit for young people, it is important to understand how youth themselves perceive obtaining a vaccination. This survey study in a representative sample of Dutch youth aged 12-18 showed that 73% were willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In regression analyses, vaccination willingness was strongly related to age, perceived personal (protect own health) and societal benefits (to get rid of restrictive policies), and their peers' and parents' vaccination uptake. Negative associations with vaccination willingness were perceived side-effects and potential unknown long term consequences. On-going and transparent communication with up-to-date information about safety and risks, delivered by independent and trusted experts (as perceived by the recipients) seems important for addressing questions and concerns. Local information sessions for youth and parents where a vaccination can be obtained without appointment could have merit in addition to mass media communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Intention , Netherlands , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
12.
Tsg ; : 1-4, 2021.
Article in Dutch | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1473101

ABSTRACT

Samenvatting Vaccinatie is een belangrijk onderdeel in de bestrijding van het COVID-19-virus. Een voorspeller van het aandeel mensen dat daadwerkelijk een vaccinatie zal nemen is de vaccinatiebereidheid onder de bevolking. Uit buitenlandse literatuur blijkt dat de vaccinatiebereidheid onder mensen met een lagere sociaaleconomische status lager ligt dan onder andere groepen. In deze bijdrage beschrijven we in hoeverre dit ook in Nederland het geval is en laten we zien hoe risicoperceptie, vertrouwen in de werking en veiligheid van het vaccin en gezondheidsvaardigheden hier mogelijk mee samenhangen. Tot slot belichten we een aantal interventiestrategieën die positief aan de vaccinatiebereidheid onder laagopgeleiden kunnen bijdragen.

13.
Euro Surveill ; 26(36)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403417

ABSTRACT

The intention to get the COVID-19 vaccine increased from 48% (November 2020) to 75% (March 2021) as national campaigning in the Netherlands commenced. Using a mixed method approach we identified six vaccination beliefs and two contextual factors informing this increase. Analysis of a national survey confirmed that shifting intentions were a function of shifting beliefs: people with stronger intention to vaccinate were most motivated by protecting others and reopening society; those reluctant were most concerned about side effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , Intention , Netherlands , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
14.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 69(3): 1319-1325, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247286

ABSTRACT

Most countries in the world have recommended or mandated face masks in some or all public places during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, mask use has been thought to increase people's face-touching frequency and thus risk of self-inoculation. Across two studies, we video-observed the face-touching behaviour of members of the public in Amsterdam and Rotterdam (the Netherlands) during the first wave of the pandemic. Study 1 (n = 383) yielded evidence in favour of the absence of an association between mask-wearing and face-touching (defined as touches of face or mask), and Study 2 (n = 421) replicated this result. Secondary outcome analysis of the two studies-analysed separately and with pooled data sets-evidenced a negative association between mask-wearing and hand contact with the face and its t-zone (i.e. eyes, nose and mouth). In sum, the current findings alleviate the concern that mask-wearing has an adverse face-touching effect.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Touch
15.
Br J Health Psychol ; 26(1): 1-14, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066632

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Behaviour change techniques are fundamental to the development of any behaviour change intervention, but surprisingly little is known about their properties. Key questions include when, why, how, in which contexts, for which behaviours, in what combinations, compared with what, and for whom behaviour change techniques are typically effective. The aims of the present paper are to: (1) articulate the scope of the challenge in understanding the properties of behaviour change techniques, (2) propose means by which to tackle this problem, and (3) call scientists to action. METHODS: Iterative consensus (O'Connor et al., 2020, Br. J. Psychol., e12468) was used to elicit and distil the judgements of experts on how best to tackle the problem of understanding the nature and operation of behaviour change techniques. RESULTS: We propose a worldwide network of 'Centres for Understanding Behaviour Change' (CUBiC) simultaneously undertaking research to establish what are the single and combined properties of behaviour change techniques across multiple behaviours and populations. We additionally provide a first attempt to systematize an approach that CUBiC could use to understand behaviour change techniques and to begin to harness the efforts of researchers worldwide. CONCLUSION: Better understanding of behaviour change techniques is vital for improving behaviour change interventions to tackle global problems such as obesity and recovery from COVID-19. The CUBiC proposal is just one of many possible solutions to the problems that the world faces and is a call to action for scientists to work collaboratively to gain deeper understanding of the underpinnings of behaviour change interventions.


Subject(s)
Behavior Therapy/methods , COVID-19 , Humans , International Cooperation , Obesity
16.
Sex Transm Infect ; 97(2): 85-87, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792131

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the early impact of COVID-19 and associated control measures on the sexual behaviour of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users in Wales. METHODS: Data were obtained from an ecological momentary assessment study of PrEP use and sexual behaviour. Participants were individuals accessing PrEP through the National Health Service (NHS) sexual health clinics across four health boards in Wales. Weekly data documenting condomless sex in the preceding week were analysed between 03/02/2020 and 10/05/2020. The introduction of social distancing measures and changes to sexual health clinics in Wales occurred on the week starting 16/03/2020. Two-level logistic regression models were fitted to condomless sex (yes/no) over time, included an indicator for the week starting 16/03/2020, and were extended to explore differential associations by relationship status and sexual health clinic. RESULTS: Data were available from 56 participants and included 697 person-weeks (89% of the maximum number that could have been obtained). On average, 42% of participants reported condomless sex in the period prior to the introduction of social distancing measures and 20% reported condomless sex after (OR=0.16, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.37, p<0.001). There was some evidence to suggest that this association was moderated by relationship status (OR for single participants=0.09, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.23; OR for not single participants=0.46, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.25). CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of social distancing measures and changes to PrEP services across Wales was associated with a marked reduction in reported instances of condomless sexual intercourse among respondents, with a larger reduction in those who were single compared with those who were not. The long-term impact of COVID-19 and associated control measures on this population's physical and mental health and well-being requires close examination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Unsafe Sex/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Condoms/statistics & numerical data , Ecological Momentary Assessment , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Wales
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