Western NSW residents needed for COVID-19 research

27 AUGUST 2020

Western NSW residents needed for COVID-19 research

Research funded by Charles Sturt University seeks 1,000 participants aged 18 years and over from the western region of NSW to provide a voice for rural and regional people about their experience and perceptions of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Charles Sturt-funded research aims to understand the perspectives of people in the western region of NSW about COVID-19
  • The research needs 1,000 participants aged 18 years and more to complete an online survey, and interviews
  • The findings will allow the Local Health District to support rural, regional, remote and Aboriginal communities in the Charles Sturt regional footprint

Lecturer in marketing in the Charles Sturt School of Management and Marketing Dr Jodie Kleinschafer said the objective of the research project is to better understand these communities’ knowledge of COVID-19, as well as their perceptions of risk and preventive health behaviours during the current pandemic.

“It is important that rural, regional, remote and Aboriginal communities in the Charles Sturt University footprint have a voice in the development of strategies to support them during outbreaks such as COVID-19,” Dr Kleinschafer said.

“We are interested to know how residents of western NSW responded to COVID-19, how they got informed, how at risk they felt, and if they felt they could engage in social distancing and preventative health behaviours.

“The information participants provide will contribute to the development of improved and more effective communication strategies for pandemic diseases.

“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.”

The study, which is expected to be completed by December this year, will invite respondents to complete a mixed methods online survey, followed by in-depth interviews.

Participants can complete the 15-20 minute research survey online via the research.net website.

They will then have the option to complete interviews where they can speak in more depth about their experience. To do this they can provide their details after the survey, or contact Jodie Kleinschafer via email jkleinschafer@csu.edu.au .

If residents would like any further information or support to complete the survey, please contact Dr Jodie Kleinschafer via email jkleinschafer@csu.edu.au .

The nine-member research study led Dr Kleinschafer received a $28,000 grant from the Charles Sturt COVID-19 research grants pool announced in April.

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 Committix Pty LTD; and Dr Julaine Allan from the University of Wollongong.

This research project has been approved by Charles Sturt University’s Human Research Ethics Committee, Approval No. H20254, and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council Human Research Ethics Committee, Reference No. 1668/20.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Jodie Kleinschafer, contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au

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