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Assessing the perceived effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions on SARS-Cov-2 transmission risk: an experimental study in Europe

Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro, Steinert, Janina Isabel, Sternberg, Henrike, Galizzi, Matteo M, Fasolo, Barbara ORCID: 0000-0002-4643-5689, Kourtidis, Ploutarchos ORCID: 0000-0003-0448-6506, Büthe, Tim and Gaskell, George (2024) Assessing the perceived effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions on SARS-Cov-2 transmission risk: an experimental study in Europe. Scientific Reports, 14 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41598-024-55447-1


We conduct a large (N = 6567) online experiment to measure the features of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that citizens of six European countries perceive to lower the risk of transmission of SARS-Cov-2 the most. We collected data in Bulgaria (n = 1069), France (n = 1108), Poland (n = 1104), Italy (n = 1087), Spain (n = 1102) and Sweden (n = 1097). Based on the features of the most widely adopted public health guidelines to reduce SARS-Cov-2 transmission (mask wearing vs not, outdoor vs indoor contact, short vs 90 min meetings, few vs many people present, and physical distancing of 1 or 2 m), we conducted a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to estimate the public’s perceived risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in scenarios that presented mutually exclusive constellations of these features. Our findings indicate that participants’ perception of transmission risk was most influenced by the NPI attributes of mask-wearing and outdoor meetings and the least by NPI attributes that focus on physical distancing, meeting duration, and meeting size. Differentiating by country, gender, age, cognitive style (reflective or intuitive), and perceived freight of COVID-19 moreover allowed us to identify important differences between subgroups. Our findings highlight the importance of improving health policy communication and citizens’ health literacy about the design of NPIs and the transmission risk of SARS-Cov-2 and potentially future viruses.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2024 12:12
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 18:36

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