april 2020 • Imperial College London

Report 14: Online Community Involvement in COVID-19 Research & Outbreak Response: Early Insights from a UK Perspective

Philippa Pristerà, Vasiliki Papageorgiou, Meerat Kaur, Christina Atchison, et al.

DOI: 10.25561/77842

Content curation::André Peralta-Santos

Key message

A população tem medo e está confusa sobre o que pensar e fazer. Propõe-se que as autoridades apoiem a coordenação rápida de grupos comunitários de ajuda mútua já existentes e/ ou estabelecimento de uma nova rede de "campeões da comunidade" e “explicadores” para apoiar a distribuição de mensagens de saúde pública e agir como porta-voz da comunidade de forma a recolher preocupações e necessidades não atendidas e orientar a respostas. Essa abordagem também garantiria chegar a pessoas que não podem aceder ou participar nas atividades on-line disponíveis.


As part of the Imperial College COVID-19 Response, we are developing research to explore and understand people’s views about, experiences of and behavioural responses to the 2019-novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, in the UK and elsewhere. To guide that effort and to help inform COVID-19 research and responses more broadly, for example in mathematical modelling and policy, we launched an online community involvement initiative that sought rapid, early insight from members of the public and aimed to establish a network for ongoing community engagement. From previous outbreaks (SARS, pandemic influenza, Ebola) it was clear that early engagement with communities is an essential part of outbreak response. Limiting the impact of a new infection like COVID-19 includes several interventions that depend on people changing their daily routines. First steps are to try and contain the spread through isolating those with the infection and quarantining their contacts who may be at risk. These restrictions may be required by the authorities or be voluntary. Further steps to reduce spread include ‘social distancing’ (reducing contact with those you don’t live with) and promoting preventative behaviours, such as good hand hygiene practices. Understanding how the public are feeling and responding to the outbreak can inform how authorities frame and deliver public health messaging. Involving local communities in the development and delivery of preventative behavioural measures could improve acceptance and adoption.