Intention to adhere to test, trace, and isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic (the COVID-19 Rapid Survey of Adherence to Interventions and Responses study)

Louise Smith, Henry Potts, Richard Amlot*, Nicola Fear, Susan Michie, James Rubin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives
(1) To investigate factors associated with intention to self-isolate, request a test, and share details of close contacts when required. (2) To determine whether associations were stronger during periods when less stringent national COVID-19 restrictions were in place.

Design
Series of cross-sectional nationally representative surveys. We selected survey waves where different national restrictions were in place in England (first lockdown, summer release, second lockdown, third lockdown).

Methods
We investigated whether psychological factors and increased out-of-home activity in the last week were associated with intention to self-isolate and request a test if you were to develop COVID-19 symptoms, and intention to share details of contacts if you were to test positive. We also investigated whether the strength of associations differed by timepoint in the pandemic.

Results
Intention to self-isolate, request a test and share details of contacts were associated with greater perceived risk of COVID-19 to people in the United Kingdom, knowing that COVID-19 transmission can be asymptomatic, and agreeing that personal behaviour has an impact on COVID-19 transmission. There were few differences in strength of associations by timepoint suggesting these effects are broadly stable over time.

Conclusions
Psychological factors were associated with intention to adhere to key components of the contact tracing system; there was no evidence for an association with increased out-of-home activity. Messages that increase knowledge that COVID-19 can be transmitted even if someone does not have symptoms and that an individual’s actions can contribute to the spread of the virus may promote engagement with the test, trace, and isolate system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Early online date30 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2021

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