Dynamic Public Perceptions of the Coronavirus Disease Crisis, the Netherlands, 2020

Marion de Vries, Liesbeth Claassen, Margreet J M Te Wierik, Susan van den Hof, Anne E M Brabers, Judith D de Jong, Danielle R M Timmermans, Aura Timen

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7 Citations (Scopus)


A key component of outbreak control is monitoring public perceptions and public response. To determine public perceptions and public responses during the first 3 months of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the Netherlands, we conducted 6 repeated surveys of ≈3,000 persons. Generalized estimating equations analyses revealed changes over time as well as differences between groups at low and high risk. Overall, respondents perceived the risks associated with COVID-19 to be considerable, were positive about the mitigation measures, trusted the information and the measures from authorities, and adopted protective measures. Substantial increases were observed in risk perceptions and self-reported protective behavior in the first weeks of the outbreak. Individual differences were based mainly on participants' age and health condition. We recommend that authorities constantly adjust their COVID-19 communication and mitigation strategies to fit public perceptions and public responses and that they tailor the information for different groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1109
Number of pages12
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

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