Researchers in the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway are collaborating with a team of over 100 behavioural scientists from more than 20 countries around the world on the International Covid-19 Awareness and Responses Evaluation (I-CARE ) Study. The international survey assesses people’s awareness, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours in response to the various measures put in place to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 across the world.
The study has is endorsed by the Behavioural Change Subgroup who are advising the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET ) COVID-19. Data from the study will be fed back to the Behavioural Change Subgroup by Professor Molly Byrne, Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway, and a member of the Subgroup. The findings of this study will be used to inform current responses nationally and globally for tackling COVID-19.
The research team plan four waves of pushes for the global survey, which is open now, and hope to reach 100,000 respondents each time. The pushes will take place every four weeks, with the researchers making new data analyses openly available every two weeks.
This study is being coordinated by the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre by Professors Kim Lavoie and Simon Bacon, who work closely with the Health Behaviour Change Research Group.
Professor Molly Byrne said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant public health threat many of us will experience. As countries around the world struggle to manage this deadly virus, governments must develop public health strategies to ensure that people follow challenging preventive actions, such as self isolation at home, social distancing, responding to symptoms, hand hygiene and coughing etiquette. The global response to COVID-19 has resulted in exceptionally high levels of international collaboration, as the world comes together to tackle this global threat. The iCARE study focusing on the public response to national strategies is an excellent example of what can be achieved when scientists around the world collaborate. The findings will be used to inform the response to COVID-19, at both a national and global level.”
Co-Director of the study, Professor Kim Lavoie, said: “This study will provide us with ongoing information about how people are responding to government messages and strategies and to identify not only what is working, but where. This is important to understand so that we can adapt as quickly as possible to develop new strategies to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”
With the survey available in over 40 languages and understood by two-thirds of the global population, Prof Simon Bacon co-Director of the study, believes the team will benefit from a diversity of opinions that will create a clearer understanding of global attitudes toward the pandemic.
“This is critically important because different countries are at different stages of outbreak and are deploying different policies,” he says. “To be able to really understand what is working and what is not working requires us to capture as broad a cross section of the world as possible. This range of answers will let us compare different policies across the globe.”
To complete and share the survey visit bit.ly/icarestudy