Monash University researchers have launched a major national survey to study the various ways Australians are receiving COVID-19 messages and what sources are gaining the most traction.
The survey, led by Professor Terry Haines from the School of Primary and Allied Health Care and the National Centre for Healthy Aging, is also aiming to find out if messages are being heard differently by those most vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the disease, such as older people with chronic illness, single parents, or casual workers.
“This survey is looking to understand the degree to which community perceptions align with Australian Government recommendations regarding COVID-19 and understand how certain vulnerable groups may be impacted or have a different perception of this information from others in the community,” Professor Haines said.
Professor Haines said the national survey is the first to look at the source of people’s information regarding COVID-19 and hopes to engage around 1000 Australians within a week following a social media campaign.
The survey will explore the extent to which the survey participant has been exposed to information on COVID-19 through the media, the internet, popular social media platforms, online blogs and the Coronavirus Australia app by the Australian Government department of health. It will also explore how the respondent expects COVID-19 to impact on their lives, their understanding of COVID-19 symptoms, and their understanding of the term self-isolation.
“We need to know how much misinformation is out there and where it is resonating. A US poll ‘YouGov’ run by the Economist in March 2020 found 13 per cent of Americans believed the Covid-19 crisis was a hoax, for example, while 49 per cent believed the epidemic might be man-made,” Professor Haines said.
Importantly the survey will link responses with the demographics of the respondent, which makes it unique, according to Professor Haines. “It’s particularly important that we know just how clear and successful the messaging is to those most vulnerable in our community,” Professor Haines said.
To participate in the survey please click here.