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Infection control in the home: a qualitative study exploring perceptions and experiences of adhering to protective behaviours in the household during the COVID-19 pandemic

Infection control in the home: a qualitative study exploring perceptions and experiences of adhering to protective behaviours in the household during the COVID-19 pandemic
Infection control in the home: a qualitative study exploring perceptions and experiences of adhering to protective behaviours in the household during the COVID-19 pandemic
Background: Recommended behaviours to protect against COVID-19 in the home include cleaning, handwashing, physical distancing, spending time in your own room and wearing a face-covering when in close proximity to people. Evidence is accumulating that following these behaviours can help protect against COVID-19, but adherence is mixed. This study sought to understand people’s perceptions of following these protective behaviours in the home.

Methods: Nine participants were interviewed by telephone about their perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and their experiences of protecting themselves at home. Most participants were recruited via an online intervention called Germ Defence, designed to help people protect themselves from viruses in the home, but two participants were recruited via social media. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Cleaning and handwashing were widely perceived to be effective and acceptable, although some participants described how other members of their household were less adherent to these behaviours which could cause anxiety. Behaviours such as spending time in separate rooms at home and keeping physically distant were often seen as less acceptable, especially when no-one in the household had any symptoms. However, people were also aware that not putting these behaviours into practice until symptoms had developed would likely mean the virus had already spread within the home, which made them feel powerless or confused.

Discussion: People felt more empowered when they understood that even small changes, such as spending some time apart, were worthwhile in order to reduce exposure and lessen viral load.
perception, Infection control, Qualitative, barrier, facilitators, covid-19
1-25
Morton, Kate
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Towler, Lauren
ebb4fb4e-703f-4e52-a9dc-53e72ca68e8f
Groot, Julia
cc29dc97-a3aa-4036-a46a-a913828f2962
Miller, Sascha
448d724f-ce7d-4e8e-9ff1-e0255e995c77
Ainsworth, Ben
c5fa4479-896a-4fe9-8f59-cc88bf498ad7
Denison-Day, James
49c0d012-eadc-44eb-b06c-da7714be145a
Rice, Cathy
cfb0acc9-2bc3-4279-89bf-1074384f00de
Bostock, Jennifer
3a741e2f-f94c-4112-bfdc-42216867a40b
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Morton, Kate
6fa41cd3-ba4d-476c-9020-b8ef93c7ade7
Towler, Lauren
ebb4fb4e-703f-4e52-a9dc-53e72ca68e8f
Groot, Julia
cc29dc97-a3aa-4036-a46a-a913828f2962
Miller, Sascha
448d724f-ce7d-4e8e-9ff1-e0255e995c77
Ainsworth, Ben
c5fa4479-896a-4fe9-8f59-cc88bf498ad7
Denison-Day, James
49c0d012-eadc-44eb-b06c-da7714be145a
Rice, Cathy
cfb0acc9-2bc3-4279-89bf-1074384f00de
Bostock, Jennifer
3a741e2f-f94c-4112-bfdc-42216867a40b
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e

Morton, Kate, Towler, Lauren, Groot, Julia, Miller, Sascha, Ainsworth, Ben, Denison-Day, James, Rice, Cathy, Bostock, Jennifer, Little, Paul and Yardley, Lucy (2020) Infection control in the home: a qualitative study exploring perceptions and experiences of adhering to protective behaviours in the household during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preprint, 1-25. (Submitted)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Recommended behaviours to protect against COVID-19 in the home include cleaning, handwashing, physical distancing, spending time in your own room and wearing a face-covering when in close proximity to people. Evidence is accumulating that following these behaviours can help protect against COVID-19, but adherence is mixed. This study sought to understand people’s perceptions of following these protective behaviours in the home.

Methods: Nine participants were interviewed by telephone about their perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and their experiences of protecting themselves at home. Most participants were recruited via an online intervention called Germ Defence, designed to help people protect themselves from viruses in the home, but two participants were recruited via social media. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Cleaning and handwashing were widely perceived to be effective and acceptable, although some participants described how other members of their household were less adherent to these behaviours which could cause anxiety. Behaviours such as spending time in separate rooms at home and keeping physically distant were often seen as less acceptable, especially when no-one in the household had any symptoms. However, people were also aware that not putting these behaviours into practice until symptoms had developed would likely mean the virus had already spread within the home, which made them feel powerless or confused.

Discussion: People felt more empowered when they understood that even small changes, such as spending some time apart, were worthwhile in order to reduce exposure and lessen viral load.

Text
Morton Towler et al 2020 Infection control at home 01.09.20
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More information

Submitted date: 21 August 2020
Keywords: perception, Infection control, Qualitative, barrier, facilitators, covid-19

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443362
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443362
PURE UUID: 1b37aff1-d3c6-4559-95ad-2bd85ea753b5
ORCID for Kate Morton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6674-0314
ORCID for Lucy Yardley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3853-883X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Aug 2020 16:30
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 03:13

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Contributors

Author: Kate Morton ORCID iD
Author: Lauren Towler
Author: Julia Groot
Author: Sascha Miller
Author: Ben Ainsworth
Author: Cathy Rice
Author: Jennifer Bostock
Author: Paul Little
Author: Lucy Yardley ORCID iD

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