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Holding a stigmatising attitude at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak (the COVID-19 Rapid Survey of Adherence to Interventions and Responses [CORSAIR] study)

Smith, Louise E; Potts, Henry; Amlôt, Richard; Fear, Nicola T; Michie, Susan; Rubin, James; (2021) Holding a stigmatising attitude at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak (the COVID-19 Rapid Survey of Adherence to Interventions and Responses [CORSAIR] study). OSF Preprints: Charlottesville, VA, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: To identify the prevalence of a stigmatising attitude towards people of Chinese origin at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK population and investigate factors associated with holding the stigmatising attitude. Design: Online cross-sectional survey conducted 10 to 13 February 2020 (n=2006, people aged 16 years or over and living in the UK). / Methods: We asked participants to what extent they agreed it was best to avoid areas heavily populated by Chinese people because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Survey materials also asked about: worry, perceived risk, knowledge, information receipt, and perception of government response to COVID-19, and personal characteristics. We ran binary logistic regressions to investigate associations between holding a stigmatising attitude, personal characteristics, and psychological and contextual factors. / Results: 26.1% people (95% CI 24.2% to 28.0%, n=524/2006) agreed it was best to avoid areas heavily populated by Chinese people. Holding a stigmatising attitude was associated with greater worry about COVID-19, greater perceived risk of COVID-19, and poorer knowledge about COVID-19. / Conclusions: At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large percentage of the UK public endorsed avoiding areas in the UK heavily populated by people of Chinese origin. This attitude was associated with greater worry about, and perceived risk of, the COVID-19 outbreak as well as poorer knowledge about COVID-19. At the start of future novel infectious disease outbreaks, proactive communications from official sources should provide context and facts to reduce uncertainty and challenge stigmatising attitudes, to minimise harms to affected communities.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Holding a stigmatising attitude at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak (the COVID-19 Rapid Survey of Adherence to Interventions and Responses [CORSAIR] study)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/uqvxs
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/uqvxs
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access paper published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: COVID-19; stigma; worry; infectious disease outbreak; discrimination
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics > CHIME
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10144007
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