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Other Social Impacts

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Survey respondents were asked to rate, on a scale from 0 (‘Not at all’) to 10 (‘Entirely’), the extent they were following the government’s current advice and guidelines regarding COVID-19. Responses were grouped as Low (0-5), Medium (6-8) or High (9-10).

The mean score for compliance with government advice and guidelines was 9.2.  Four in five (80.6%) of respondents rated their compliance with government advice as High, less than one in five (18.4%) rated their compliance as Medium with less than 1% of respondents rating their compliance as Low.

Mean compliance scores for male and female respondents were 9.0 and 9.4 respectively. Over 88% of female respondents rated their compliance as High and 11.4% as Medium. Comparable figures for male respondents were 72.5% and 25.8% respectively.

 

X-axis labelLow (0-5)Medium (6-8)High (9-10)
Male1.725.872.5
Female0.211.488.4

The mean score for compliance did not vary much amongst age groups, ranging from a low of 9.1 for 35-44 year olds to a high of 9.4 for 55-69 year olds. The percentage of respondents aged 70+ rating their compliance as High was less than the next eldest age group (those aged 55-69), 83.0% compared with 89.5%.  One in six (16.9%) respondents in the eldest age group rated their compliance with government advice and guidelines as Medium. Within every age group, a higher proportion of female respondents rated their compliance with government advice as High compared with their male counterparts.

The percentage of respondents rating themselves as following government advice and guidelines to a high level decreased with educational attainment.  Exactly 83.0% of respondents whose highest level of educational attainment is higher secondary education or lower rated their compliance as High compared with 80.1% for those with post-secondary or short tertiary education and 77.4% for third level bachelor degree or above. The proportion of respondents reporting that they were not at all concerned about their own health increased as the highest level of education increased. One in nine respondents (11.1%) with higher secondary education or lower reported that they were not at all concerned about their own health whereas just over one in four respondents (25.3%) with a third level bachelor degree or above were not at all concerned with their own health. The relatively high proportion of respondents with a third level degree or higher who were not at all concerned about their own health may partly explain the lower high level compliance rate in this group.

X-axis labelLow (0-5)Medium (6-8)High (9-10)
Higher secondary education or lower1.215.883
Post-secondary and short cycle tertiary1.118.880.1
Third level bachelor or higher0.522.177.4

Respondents living in households with children had the lowest proportion (78.6%) rating their compliance with government advice as High. This compares with 81.1% for respondents living in households comprising of 2 or more adults and 84.4% of adults living alone. Nearly one in five (19.8%) respondents living in households with children rated their compliance as Medium.

X-axis labelLow (0-5)Medium (6-8)High (9-10)
1 adult, no children1.713.584.8
2+ adults, no children0.218.681.1
Households with children1.619.878.6

A higher proportion of respondents living in rural areas rated their compliance with government advice as High (84.3%) compared with their urban counterparts (78.8%). One in five (19.8%) of respondents living in urban areas reported their compliance as Medium. The comparable figure for respondents living in rural areas is 15.6%.

X-axis labelLow (0-5)Medium (6-8)High (9-10)
Urban areas1.419.878.8
Rural areas0.115.684.3

Respondents were asked to estimate their chances of getting infected with COVID-19 within the next 3 months on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is 'no chance' and 10 is ' a 100% chance'. The perceived probability of getting infected with COVID-19 did not seem to influence compliance with government advice. Respondents that rated their compliance as Medium and High scored similarly for their perceived likelihood of getting infected, 4.2 and 4.3 respectively.

Compliance with current government advice increased with respondents’ perception of how severe the illness would be, were they to contract COVID-19. Nearly 87% of respondents that thought they would have a more severe or critical illness rated their compliance as High. This proportion was 67.1% for respondents that thought they would have a mild illness.

Scores for compliance with government advice and guidelines rose in line with respondents’ concern for their own and somebody else’s health.  Over 89% of respondents that were extremely concerned about their own health rated their compliance as High. Just over two thirds (68.7%) of respondents that were not at all concerned about their own health rated their compliance this way. Over 86% of respondents that were extremely concerned for another person’s health rated themselves as highly compliant compared with 78.3% for those that were somewhat concerned for another’s health.

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Respondents were asked which sources of information they used to stay informed about COVID-19. This was a multiple response question. Options included:

  1. Newspapers
  2. Radio
  3. Television
  4. Mainstream news websites, e.g. www.breakingnews.ie, www.rte.ie
  5. HSE/government agency websites
  6. Social media, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp
  7. Family, friends and colleagues
  8. Consultations with health professionals
  9. Other

Respondents were also asked which source was their main source of information to stay informed on COVID-19.

Television was the most popular source of information for survey respondents, with over two-thirds (68.3%) stating they used it to stay informed about COVID-19. The next most referred to source was Mainstream news websites (63.9%), followed by Radio (44.0%), HSE/government agency websites (42.1%) and Social media (35.9%). A third (33.0%) of respondents said that Friends, family and colleagues was a source of information with just under a quarter (24.0%) using Newspapers for staying informed about COVID-19. Just over 7% used Health professionals as a source of information with 3.6% referring to Other sources.

 

 

X-axis label% of Respondents
Newspaper24
Radio44
Television68.3
News website63.9
HSE42.1
Social Media35.9
Friends and family33
Health professional7.1
Other3.6

When asked which of the sources was their main source of information to stay informed about COVID-19, more than one-third (36.2%) of respondents stated Television, followed by Mainstream news websites (27.8%), HSE/government agency websites (11.1%), Social media (9.3%) and Radio (8.7%). Less used main sources of information were Family, friends and colleagues (3.3%), Newspapers (1.9%), Health professionals (1.1%) and Other (0.7%).

NewspapersRadioTelevisionMainstream news websitesHSE/government agency websitesSocial mediaFamily, friends, colleaguesHealth professionalsOther
Source of Information1.98.736.227.811.19.33.31.10.7

Television, followed by Mainstream news websites were the two most popular main sources of information on COVID-19 for both male and female respondents. However, Social media was the third most popular main source for females compared with HSE/government agency websites for males.

NewspapersRadioTelevisionMainstream news websitesHSE/government agency websitesSocial mediaFamily, friends, colleaguesHealth professionalsOther
Male1.88.534.33311.47.33.10.20.5
Female28.93822.910.911.23.41.91

Preference for Television and Radio as a main source of information to stay informed on COVID-19 increases with age. Just over one in five (20.6%) respondents aged 18-34 selected Television as their main source compared with over half (53.7%) of those aged 70+. Similarly, preference for Radio as a main source of COVID-19 related information increased from 2.8% for those in the youngest age category to 20.5% for those in the eldest. Conversely, preference for HSE/government agency websites and Social media as main sources of information decrease with age, with 18.3% and 17.8% of those aged 18-34 choosing these as their primary source, respectively, compared with 4.7% and 4.1%, respectively, for those aged 70+.  Mainstream news websites were the main source of COVID-19 related information for respondents aged 35-44.

NewspapersRadioTelevisionMainstream news websitesHSE/government agency websitesSocial mediaFamily, friends, colleaguesHealth professionalsOther
18 to 342.12.820.630.918.317.85.20.61.6
35 to 441.86.628.835.812.79.92.51.40.6
45 to 541.48.838.827.79.57.142.20.5
55 to 691.811.251.124.95.52.32.20.70.3
70+2.220.553.713.14.74.11.30.4

Main source preference differed depending on educational attainment. Over 44% of respondents with higher secondary education or lower and 41.7% of respondents with post-secondary or short cycle tertiary selected Television as their main source of COVID-19 related information. Mainstream news websites was the most popular main source for respondents with a third level bachelor degree or higher with one third (33.0%) of respondents in this category favouring it.

Show Table: Table 6.1 Compliance with current government's advice and guidelines by demographic characteristics and well-being indicators, April 2020

Show Table: Table 6.2 Sources of information used to stay informed on COVID-19, April 2020

Show Table: Table 6.3 Main source of information used to stay informed on COVID-19, April 2020

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