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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 96-97

Employing behavioral tool to define the response to corona virus disease-2019 pandemic in the European Region


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission08-Apr-2020
Date of Decision27-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance30-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication30-May-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_28_20

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  Abstract 


The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted all the dimensions of health, routine welfare measures and livelihood of the general population worldwide. It is important to acknowledge that the containment of the outbreak cannot be effectively accomplished or sustained without the active support and engagement of the members of the community. Thus, it becomes extremely crucial to assess the behavioral change in the community, which will eventually determine the rate of transmission. In order to assess all these dimensions, a behavioral tool has been developed in the European region and it is anticipated that the obtained information can help the local and national stakeholders to coordinate their interventions and strategies for mounting a better public health response against the infection. In conclusion, in order to ensure that the public health response to COVID-19 pandemic are relevant and actionable, there is an indispensable need to understand the behavioral insights of the members of the community. This aspect of the disease containment is an important domain as our success will be eventually determined by the extent to which people are informed and willing to adhere to the interventions implemented by the Governments.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Behavioral tool, Europe, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Employing behavioral tool to define the response to corona virus disease-2019 pandemic in the European Region. Ann Indian Psychiatry 2020;4:96-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Employing behavioral tool to define the response to corona virus disease-2019 pandemic in the European Region. Ann Indian Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 14];4:96-7. Available from: http://www.anip.co.in/text.asp?2020/4/1/96/285497




  Introduction Top


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted all the dimensions of health, routine welfare measures, and livelihood of the general population worldwide. It is important to note that the disease has compelled the authorities to impose a complete lockdown within heterogeneous settings, which has further ameliorated the problems of the members of the community who are already experiencing fear, anxiety, and stress about the overall developments.[1] Till March 26, 2020, a total of 2,804,796 people has been diagnosed with the disease, while 193,710 people have lost their lives to the novel viral infection due to the potential complications.[2] The European region is the worst affected and accounts for 47.8% of cases and 63% of the reported deaths worldwide.[2]

COVID-19 and behavioral change

There are no doubts that the ongoing pandemic has overwhelmed the health system and made the authorities to constantly think about the strategies and interventions to reduce the transmission of the disease.[2] At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that the containment of the outbreak cannot be effectively accomplished or sustained without the active support and engagement of the members of the community.[3] Thus, it becomes extremely crucial to assess the behavioral change in the community, which will eventually determine the rate of transmission.[4] If the general population perceives lack of consistency in the passed-on information or have reservations pertaining to the competence level of the health sector to contain the infection or issues pertaining to the fairness of the delivered measures, this will result in the development of distrust and fear, which will eventually enhance the caseload of the disease.[4],[5]

It is important to note that the observation of the behavior of people from different strata will be very useful for strategy makers. On the contrary, if the conveyed messages are perceived positively, the people will be well-informed and thus will be in a position to take well-informed decisions to protect themselves and will also aid the governments in the successful implementation of the planned decisions. At the same time, efforts should be taken to gain insight about the extent of trust in government decisions, the extent of perceived risk to acquire the infection, and the potential hindrance which they might face to adhere to the decisions of the policymakers. In fact, if we have the understanding about all these behaviors of the community, the risk communication system can be effectively modified, and all the need-based information can be delivered, which apart from enhancing the level of awareness about the disease, can also aid in responding to the issues of myths and stigmatization.[3],[4],[5]

Employment of behavioral tool

In order to assess all these dimensions, a behavioral tool has been developed in the European region, and it is anticipated that the obtained information can help the local and national stakeholders to coordinate their interventions and strategies for mounting a better public health response against the infection.[4] The advantage of the tool is that it can be quickly and periodically used, simple to administer, flexible enough to meet the varied situations, and is freely available.[5] The tool will aid in suggesting any modifications to implement or improve any specific type of behavior and will also act as one of the easiest and quick modes of communication. The tool has already been used in Germany and provided the information that the novel disease has resulted in a negative psychological impact on the younger-population groups.[4]

Moreover, the periodic administration of this tool provides information to the policymakers about the changing behavior of the community, which becomes quite crucial for the disease containment and also acts as an indicator for the success of the planned interventions or risk communication system.[4],[5] The tool has also been used to assess the acceptance among people about apps, which can be a fast mode of communication to the general population and removes the possibility of always coming to health establishment for the basic ailments of the people. Further, the plan is to share the obtained information about public behavior with the journalists so that the results can eventually be shared with all the population, and thus, in the long run, it will assist in the building of trust and effective management of the public health emergency.[4]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, to ensure that the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic are relevant and actionable, there is an indispensable need to understand the behavioral insights of the members of the community. This aspect of the disease containment is an important domain as our success will be eventually determined by the extent to which people are informed and willing to adhere to the interventions implemented by the Governments.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Zhang Y, Ma ZF. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and quality of life among local residents in Liaoning province, China: A cross-sectional study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020;17:e2381.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 97. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200426-sitrep-97-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=d1c3e800_6 [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 27].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO press; 2020. p. 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. New WHO/Europe Tool for Behavioural Insights: Critical to Inform COVID-19 Response. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/news/new s/2020/4/new-whoeurope-tool-for-behavioural-insights-critical-to-infor m-covid-19-response [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 08].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Betsch C, Wieler LH, Habersaat K; COSMO group. Monitoring behavioural insights related to COVID-19. Lancet 2020;395:1255-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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