Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals identify content of interest prior to publication. Authors have opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These preprints are early stage research papers that have not been peer-reviewed. The findings should not be used for clinical or public health decision making and should not be presented to a lay audience without highlighting that they are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed. For more information on this collaboration, see the comments published in The Lancet about the trial period, and our decision to make this a permanent offering, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willingness of the UK Public to Volunteer for Testing in Relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic
16 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2020More...
Background: The World Health Organization declared the rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world to be a global public health emergency. The spread of the disease is influenced by people’s willingness to adopt preventative public health behaviours, such as participation in testing programmes and risk perception can be an important determinant of engagement in such behaviours.
Methods: In this study, we present the first assessment of how the UK public (N=778) perceive the usefulness of testing for coronavirus and the factors that influence a person’s willingness to test for coronavirus.
Findings: None of the key demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, disability, vulnerability status, or professional expertise) were significantly related to the respondents’ willingness to be tested for coronavirus. However, closely following the news media was positively related to willingness to be tested. Knowledge and perceptions about Coronavirus significantly predicted willingness to test, with three significantly contributing factors: worry about the health and social impacts to self and family; personal susceptibility; and concerns about the impacts of coronavirus on specific demographic groups. Views on testing for coronavirus predicted willingness to test, with the most influential factors being importance of testing by need; negative views about widespread testing and mistrust in doctor’s advice about testing.
Interpretation: Implications for effective risk communication and localised public health approach to encouraging public to put themselves forward for testing are discussed. We strongly advocate for effective communications and localised intervention by public health authorities, using media outlets to ensure that members of the public get tested for SARs-CoV2 when required.
Funding Statement: None.
Declaration of Interests:The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Ethics Approval Statement: The study received a favourable ethical opinion from the Kingston University Research Ethics Committee.
Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, testing, risk perception, public
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation