Public Acceptance Of Measures To Control Infectious Diseases Under Different Scenarios Of Severity And Transmissibility.

Publication date: Feb 22, 2024

Public health measures to control future epidemic threats of contagious disease, such as new variants of COVID-19 may be usefully informed by evidence about how acceptable they are likely to be, and the circumstances that condition this acceptance. This study considers how the acceptability of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) might depend on scenarios about the severity and transmissibility of the disease. A telephone survey was conducted among a representative cross-sectional sample of the Spanish adult population. Each respondent was randomly assigned to one of four possible hypothetical scenarios about the severity and transmissibility of the disease. Participants’ responses about the acceptability of 11 NPI under this scenario were analysed using multivariate regression and latent class analysis. A high risk of severe disease increases the acceptability of mask-wearing, social distancing outdoors, lockdown, and isolation of infected cases, close contacts and the vulnerable. A scenario where the disease is highly transmissible would increase the acceptability of NPI that restrict movement and isolation. Most respondents would broadly accept most NPI in situations when either the severity or transmissibility was high. This study showed people are more willing to accept NPIs like mask-wearing, social distancing outdoors, lockdown, and isolation in severe disease scenarios. A highly transmissible disease scenario increases the acceptability of NPIs that isolate. A majority would broadly accept NPIs to counter public health emergencies, while 3-9% of the population would always be strongly against.

Concepts Keywords
Acceptability Acceptability
Epidemic COVID-19
Future Non-pharmaceutical interventions
Pharmaceutical Public health
Spanish Scenarios


Type Source Name
disease MESH Infectious Diseases
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO population
disease MESH emergencies

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