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Survey reports on health behaviours during COVID-19

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CQUniversity is asking residents to participate in a survey relating to health behaviours during Coronavirus.

A national survey on the health and wellbeing of Australians living through COVID-19 aims to produce data that will be critical to inform future public health policies.

CQUniversity's Dr Rob Stanton is leading the survey and said community lockdowns, social distancing, self-isolation and/or illness could impact the behaviours that were adopted now and into the future.

“To ensure we are able to develop appropriate health education and behaviour interventions in the future, it is important that we understand the impact of this pandemic on the health and health behaviours of Australian adults,” he said.

“To this end, this study aims to collect data from Australian adults to investigate what people know and what health-related behaviours people adopt throughout the term of the pandemic.”

Dr Stanton said the voluntary CQUniversity COVID-19 Community Survey would take participants around 20 minutes to complete.

“So far, only one study from China has been published on psychological distress during the Covid-19 pandemic, showing more than half of respondents rated the psychological impacts as moderate to severe, with one-third experiencing moderate to severe anxiety,” Dr Stanton said.

“Other studies in Australia, Canada, the UK and Germany are examining social isolation and psychological impacts, but few have examined knowledge and implementation of health advice, or health behaviours subsequent to the onset of Covid-19, and none in the Australian context.

“Our study will examine these impacts in the Australian population at multiple timepoints. The data will be critical to inform public policy about the effectiveness of public health messages and the need for psychological support for people who are either directly or indirectly affected by this global pandemic.”

Dr Stanton said the survey included socio-demographic questions as well as questions about Australians’ health and wellbeing and their understanding of, and participation in, health-related behaviours.

“We may conduct follow-up surveys to assess change over time. If you would like to participate again, you will be able to leave your email address so that we can contact you,” he said.

“Be assured that your email address will not be used for any other purpose. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you do not need to provide your email address and will still be able to participate in future surveys.

“The information collected in this survey will be aggregated and the results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed academic journals and at conferences.”

A range of population health, exercise science, and medical science researchers from CQUniversity are involved in the survey and related research projects.