Survey asks people for their views on UK Government's public health messages on coronavirus


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People are being asked for their opinions on how well the Government has communicated public health messages during the coronavirus pandemic.

The study is being carried out by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) psychologist Dr Natalia Stanulewicz who hopes it may inform future public health messages.

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The online survey, which takes around 15 minutes to complete, is anonymous. It asks questions around some of the health slogans and posters used to communicate messages to the public as well as how people have been affected by the pandemic.

Dr Stanulewicz said: “Information if effective can impact the behaviours of whole communities, for example, lead to increased hand-washing, and following social distancing rules, impacting health of one's own but also one's local communities.

“Unfortunately, sometimes, the way a public health information is presented might backfire, and result in an opposite to intended outcome (e.g., people panic buying resources when informed that sharing them is important).

“Previous studies suggest that people like messages that are clear, trustworthy and relatable, and that those are the ones that are more likely to be followed. But have the messages produced by the UK government in relation to Covid-10 pandemic been seen as such?

“What is also crucial to understand is whether people's perceptions of public health communications differ depending on their personal characteristics. What are those key characteristics and what effect do they have need to be understand better if we aim at dealing effectively with future global health threats.

“In the study run at DMU, we are trying to examine this crucial topic and gather knowledge that might be beneficial for preparing public health messages when faced with future health crises.”

•    If you’d like to take the survey, please click here. It will take around 15 minutes.
Posted on Friday 19th June 2020

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