Preventing within household transmission of COVID-19: is the provision of accommodation to support self-isolation feasible and acceptable?

Sarah Denford*, Kate Morton, Jeremy Horwood, Rachel de Garang, Lucy Yardley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Within-household transmission of COVID-19 is responsible for a significant number of infections. The risk of within-household infection is greatly increased among those from Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and low income communities. Efforts to protect these communities are urgently needed. The aim of this study is to explore the acceptability of the availability of accommodation to support isolation among at risk populations.

Methods
Our study used a mixed methods design structured in two phases. In phase 1, we conducted a survey study of a sample of volunteers from our existing database of 300 individuals who had provided consent to be contacted about ongoing research projects into infection control. In phase 2, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 participants from BAME communities and low income communities recruited through social media. Results Participants from the survey and interview phase of the study viewed the provision of accommodation as important and necessary. Factors influencing likely uptake of accommodation included perceived 1) vulnerability of household 2) exposure to the virus and 3) options for isolation at home. Barriers to accepting the offer of accommodation included 1) being able to isolate at home 2) wanting to be with family 3) caring responsibilities 4) concerns about mental wellbeing 5) upheaval of moving when ill and 6) concerns about infection control. Participants raised a series of issues that should be addressed before accommodation is offered. These included questions regarding who should use temporary accommodation and at what stage to effectively reduce transmission in the home, and how infection control in temporary accommodation would be managed.

Conclusion
This research provides evidence that the provision of accommodation to prevent within household transmission of the virus is viewed as acceptable, feasible and necessary by many people who are concerned about infection transmission in the home. We explore ways in which accommodation might be offered. In particular, vulnerable members of the household could be protected if accommodation is offered to individuals who are informed through test trace and isolate that they have been in contact with the virus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1641
Number of pages35
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date8 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Lucy Yardley is an NIHR Senior Investigator and her research programme is partly supported by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC)-West, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Behavioural Science and Evaluation, and the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Jeremy Horwood is partly supported by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC)-West, and NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) for Behavioural Science and Evaluation at the University of Bristol. Rachel de Garang is a BME Engagement Worker for the Voice & Influence Partnership at The Care Forum.

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at the University of Bristol, in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) / Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Covid-19 Rapid Response Call 2 (grant number MC_PC 19071).

Funding Information:
Lucy Yardley is an NIHR Senior Investigator and her research programme is partly supported by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC)-West, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Behavioural Science and Evaluation, and the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Jeremy Horwood is partly supported by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC)-West, and NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) for Behavioural Science and Evaluation at the University of Bristol. Rachel de Garang is a BME Engagement Worker for the Voice & Influence Partnership at The Care Forum.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Structured keywords

  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Covid19

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • BAME communities
  • self-isolation
  • quarantine
  • infection control
  • participatory research

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