COVID Attitudes, Resilience and Epidemiology (CARE) study

To guide decision making, it is important to understand how Australians were thinking, feeling and behaving in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated physical distancing measures used to control it’s spread.

Our team was a key contributor to a partnership project between the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity led by Dr Freya Shearer. Three online surveys were carried out in April, May and September 2020. Approximately 1000 Australians aged >18 years responded to the first two surveys (71.8% completed both) and results were weighted to be representative of the adult population in Australia. The September survey targeted residents of the state of Victoria, who, due to the presence of community transmission of COVID-19, were living under stricter restrictions than the rest of the Australia. As part of the third survey, Victorians from non-English speaking backgrounds were deliberately oversampled, and completed the survey with the help of an interpreter. The project aimed to gain real-time understanding of how people in Australia were thinking, feeling and behaving in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and distancing measures; and b) explore how this changed over time.

Knowledge translation and impact

Survey results were released as a series of rapid reports, and key findings were disseminated to relevant government contacts. Certain variables fed directly into the disease prediction models used to inform decision making at the federal level, through the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. A policy brief of the Victorian specific September results were disseminated to the Victorian Chief and Deputy Health Officers, to inform decision making related to easing restrictions in late September.

Key publications

Funding partners

  • Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
  • Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital.
  • The Burnet Institute

Contact

Contact Name
Associate Professor Eva Alisic
Email
ealisic@unimelb.edu.au