Experts from Aberdeen University will be carrying out a six-month study to look at the impact of lockdown on our behaviour.
Behavioural scientists from the city institution have awarded £325,000 for their investigation which will help inform Scottish Government policy on dealing with Covid-19.
The study will examine whether people are adhering to coronavirus guidelines, the impact the rules are having on their mental and physical health, and what triggers changes in adherence and health.
Every week the team at Aberdeen University will conduct a nationally representative telephone survey through UK market researcher Ipsos MORI.
It will be made up of questions about what people are doing, how they are feeling and why, in order to assess changes and possible explanations in a total of 8,500 people over the course of four months.
At the end of each month, the team will report changes and explanations, allowing government and health officials to act rapidly to protect the public and prevent ill-health during the pandemic.
Professor Diane Dixon from Aberdeen University’s Institute of Applied Health Sciences, will lead a consortium of over 30 behavioural scientists from universities and institutions across the country.
She said: “Transmission reducing behaviours (TRBs), such as social distancing and hand washing, are essential to quashing the pandemic, but adherence varies as they severely disrupt normal life. As lockdown restrictions are eased adhering to these behaviours remains crucial but adherence to them may become more challenging. It is vital, therefore, that we understand how adherence changes over the next few months.
“This project will provide the Scottish Government with timely, reliable and actionable evidence to enable them to intervene to support adherence to TRBs and to protect mental and physical health.”