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Interventions to promote physical distancing behaviour during infectious disease pandemics or epidemics: A systematic review

Interventions to promote physical distancing behaviour during infectious disease pandemics or epidemics: A systematic review
Interventions to promote physical distancing behaviour during infectious disease pandemics or epidemics: A systematic review
Objectives: Physical distancing, defined as keeping 1–2m apart when co-located, can prevent cases of droplet or aerosol transmitted infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, distancing was a recommendation or a requirement in many countries. This systematic review aimed to determine which interventions and behavior change techniques (BCTs) are effective in promoting adherence to distancing and through which potential mechanisms of action (MOAs).
Methods: Six databases were searched. The review included studies that were (a) conducted on humans, (b) reported physical distancing interventions, (c) included any comparator (e.g., pre-intervention versus post-intervention; randomized controlled trial), and (d) reported actual distancing or predictors of distancing behavior. Risk of bias was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. BCTs and potential MoAs were identified in each intervention.
Results: Six articles (with seven studies and 19 comparisons) indicated that distancing interventions could successfully change MoAs and behavior. Successful BCTs (MoAs) included feedback on behavior (e.g., motivation); information about health consequences, salience of health consequences (e.g., beliefs about consequences), demonstration (e.g., beliefs about capabilities), and restructuring the physical environment (e.g., environmental context and resources). The most promising interventions were proximity buzzers, directional systems, and posters with loss-framed messages that demonstrated the behaviors.
Conclusions: The evidence indicates several BCTs and potential MoAs that should be targeted in interventions and highlights gaps that should be the focus of future research.
0277-9536
Epton, Tracy
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Ghio, Daniela
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Ballard, Lisa
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Allen, Sarah
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Kassianos, Angelos
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Hewitt, Rachael
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Swainston, Katherine
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Fynn, Wendy
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Rowland, Vickie
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Westbrook, Juliette
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Jenkinson, Elizabeth
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Morrow, Alison
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McGeechan, Grant James
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Stanescu, Sabina
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Yousuf, Aysha
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Sharma, Nisha
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Begum, Suhana
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Karasouli, Eleni
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Scanlan, Daniel
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Shorter, Gillian W
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Arden, Madelynne
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Armitage, Chris
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O'Connor, Daryl Brian
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Kamal, Atiya
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McBride, Emily
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Swanson, Vivien
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Hart, Jo
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Byrne-Davis, Lucie
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Chater, Angel
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Drury, John
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Epton, Tracy
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Ghio, Daniela
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Ballard, Lisa
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Allen, Sarah
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Kassianos, Angelos
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Hewitt, Rachael
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Swainston, Katherine
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Fynn, Wendy
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Rowland, Vickie
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Westbrook, Juliette
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Jenkinson, Elizabeth
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Morrow, Alison
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McGeechan, Grant James
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Stanescu, Sabina
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Yousuf, Aysha
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Sharma, Nisha
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Begum, Suhana
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Karasouli, Eleni
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Scanlan, Daniel
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Shorter, Gillian W
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Arden, Madelynne
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Armitage, Chris
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O'Connor, Daryl Brian
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Kamal, Atiya
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McBride, Emily
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Swanson, Vivien
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Hart, Jo
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Byrne-Davis, Lucie
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Chater, Angel
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Drury, John
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Epton, Tracy, Ghio, Daniela, Ballard, Lisa, Allen, Sarah, Kassianos, Angelos, Hewitt, Rachael, Swainston, Katherine, Fynn, Wendy, Rowland, Vickie, Westbrook, Juliette, Jenkinson, Elizabeth, Morrow, Alison, McGeechan, Grant James, Stanescu, Sabina, Yousuf, Aysha, Sharma, Nisha, Begum, Suhana, Karasouli, Eleni, Scanlan, Daniel, Shorter, Gillian W, Arden, Madelynne, Armitage, Chris, O'Connor, Daryl Brian, Kamal, Atiya, McBride, Emily, Swanson, Vivien, Hart, Jo, Byrne-Davis, Lucie, Chater, Angel and Drury, John (2022) Interventions to promote physical distancing behaviour during infectious disease pandemics or epidemics: A systematic review. Social Science & Medicine, 303, [114946]. (doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114946).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: Physical distancing, defined as keeping 1–2m apart when co-located, can prevent cases of droplet or aerosol transmitted infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, distancing was a recommendation or a requirement in many countries. This systematic review aimed to determine which interventions and behavior change techniques (BCTs) are effective in promoting adherence to distancing and through which potential mechanisms of action (MOAs).
Methods: Six databases were searched. The review included studies that were (a) conducted on humans, (b) reported physical distancing interventions, (c) included any comparator (e.g., pre-intervention versus post-intervention; randomized controlled trial), and (d) reported actual distancing or predictors of distancing behavior. Risk of bias was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. BCTs and potential MoAs were identified in each intervention.
Results: Six articles (with seven studies and 19 comparisons) indicated that distancing interventions could successfully change MoAs and behavior. Successful BCTs (MoAs) included feedback on behavior (e.g., motivation); information about health consequences, salience of health consequences (e.g., beliefs about consequences), demonstration (e.g., beliefs about capabilities), and restructuring the physical environment (e.g., environmental context and resources). The most promising interventions were proximity buzzers, directional systems, and posters with loss-framed messages that demonstrated the behaviors.
Conclusions: The evidence indicates several BCTs and potential MoAs that should be targeted in interventions and highlights gaps that should be the focus of future research.

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Physical distancing review (full file) - Accepted Manuscript
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Submitted date: 13 June 2021
Accepted/In Press date: 22 March 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 March 2022
Published date: 1 June 2022
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 457040
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457040
ISSN: 0277-9536
PURE UUID: 3fd59cf8-843c-400e-9d7d-18247e509340
ORCID for Lisa Ballard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1017-4322

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 May 2022 16:34
Last modified: 13 Aug 2022 01:50

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Contributors

Author: Tracy Epton
Author: Daniela Ghio
Author: Lisa Ballard ORCID iD
Author: Sarah Allen
Author: Angelos Kassianos
Author: Rachael Hewitt
Author: Katherine Swainston
Author: Wendy Fynn
Author: Vickie Rowland
Author: Juliette Westbrook
Author: Elizabeth Jenkinson
Author: Alison Morrow
Author: Grant James McGeechan
Author: Sabina Stanescu
Author: Aysha Yousuf
Author: Nisha Sharma
Author: Suhana Begum
Author: Eleni Karasouli
Author: Daniel Scanlan
Author: Gillian W Shorter
Author: Madelynne Arden
Author: Chris Armitage
Author: Daryl Brian O'Connor
Author: Atiya Kamal
Author: Emily McBride
Author: Vivien Swanson
Author: Jo Hart
Author: Lucie Byrne-Davis
Author: Angel Chater
Author: John Drury

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