BehavioursWorks Australia is leading the Australian chapter of the Survey of COVID-19 Responses to Understand Behaviour (SCRUB) project, which aims to give policymakers actionable insights into public attitudes and behaviours relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 120 international collaborators are now involved in the SCRUB project and over 4,000 people in 40 countries have contributed to the first and second waves of data collection.
The survey measures behaviour, behavioural drivers, COVID-19 attitudes and beliefs and demographic variables. Outputs include:
Following are a few findings from the second wave of Australian data (collected between 21/4 and 4/5/2020).
The Monash Sustainable Development Institute funded this wave of data collection, with future waves to be funded by the Victorian Government.
The graph below (a screenshot from the SCRUB interactive dashboard) summarises responses to some of our behavioural questions. The blank rows at the top of the graph are questions asked in Wave 1, but not Wave 2.
As the graph shows, the majority of Australians were performing the five key behaviours recommended by the Australian Government Department of Health to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The key protective behaviour, which Australians had the lowest level of compliance with, was not touching their face with unwashed hands.
Of greater concern was that over 40% were not often avoiding or cancelling:
Fortunately, stockpiling behaviours were uncommon across both waves, as is the use of natural, alternative, or prescribed medicines to ward off or treat COVID-19.
This table is from an initial report on our wave 2 findings (see here, open in browser).
As shown above, we found that the majority of Australians were doing key protective behaviours.
Men were less likely to perform protective behaviours than females. Older adults (50+) were also more likely to practice protective behaviours, such as handwashing and social distancing in the last 7 days than those below 50.
However, they were also less likely to avoid touching their faces.
The graph below is a screenshot from the SCRUB interactive dashboard, which summarises responses to questions about confidence in authorities.
Confidence in authorities changed between Wave 1 and Wave 2, with the World Health Organisation precipitously falling from second-most trusted to least-trusted.
National and state authorities remained highly trusted to minimise the harms from COVID-19.
Here are three insights and implications for policymakers that emerge from the data:
To learn more about the SCRUB survey, please visit the website and interactive dashboard. You can access the survey and data here.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to use the survey to collect data in your country or organisation (voluntarily or funded).
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