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Understanding the effects of public health outbreak control policies and implementation on individuals and communities: a path to improving COVID-19 policy effectiveness

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Culture, Epidemiology & Public Health, Healthcare Delivery & Policy, Social Impacts

This project will examine the cultural dimensions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic such as examining how individuals and communities understand and react to the disease, studying the response of public health, and exploring how public health policy affects individuals and communities.

While public health policies are required to control an infectious disease outbreak, these policies can adversely affect individuals and communities. Quarantine, limitations in movement and public gathering, and other restrictive measures can put a social and economic burden on individuals, which may be disproportionate, depending on their socioeconomic status and other factors. Healthcare providers are both involved in administering the policy but are also put at grave risk in caring for patients. This will be a multiprovince, multicountry study in Canada (British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia), Bangladesh, and China (Guangdong).

We will use qualitative methodology (document review, key informant interviews, focus groups) and quantitative methods (surveys) to examine policy and implementation from the public health/policy perspective as well perspectives of the media, communities, healthcare providers, patients and their caregivers, and members of the general public. These data will be used to improve the process by which public health policies are created and implemented.