- Charles Sturt-funded research aims to understand the perspectives of people in the western region of NSW about COVID-19
- Researchers seek 1,000 participants aged 18 years and over for online survey and interviews
- The findings will allow the Local Health District to support rural, regional, remote and Aboriginal communities in the Charles Sturt University regional footprint
Lecturer in the Charles Sturt School of Management
and Marketing Dr
Jodie Kleinschafer leads a six-member research team, which received a $28,000 grant from the Charles
Sturt COVID-19 research grants pool announced in April.
“The research aims to understand the perspectives of people in the western region of NSW about COVID-19, and is expected to be completed by October this year,” Dr Kleinschafer said.
“This information is important to allow the Local Health District to support rural, regional, remote and Aboriginal communities in the Charles Sturt University regional footprint.
“We expect the research findings will lead to the development of targeted and tailored communication campaigns and the refinement of the health sectors’ emergency response plan, which can assist in current and future pandemic outbreaks.”
Dr Kleinschafer said the research sought 1,000 respondents aged 18 years and over from across western NSW for the mixed methods online survey, followed by in-depth interviews.
“We are interested how residents of western NSW responded to COVID-19, their perceptions of risk, the efficacy of compliance, and their engagement in preventive health behaviour, as well as the information sources informing those perceptions,” Dr Kleinschafer said.
“For example, what was their perception of risk, did they feel they could comply with the measures the government imposed, what were the behaviours they engaged in?
“We are also interested in how actively people sought information, what sources of information they used, and which sources they found most helpful and they relied on.”
The research survey template is currently in development.
The research title is ‘Understanding risk perceptions, knowledge and preventive health behaviour of Australians in rural, regional remote western NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic’.The researchers are Dr Kleinschafer, Professor Oliver Burmeister, and Ms Gail Fuller from Charles Sturt University; Mrs Teesta Saksena and Dr Alice Munro from the Western NSW Local Health District; Dr Mark Lock from the Western Health Research Network; and Dr Julaine Allan from the University of Wollongong.