07 September 2020
The best ways to encourage self-isolation are explained in new guidance published today from the British Psychological Society.
In ‘Encouraging self-isolation to prevent the spread of Covid-19’, experts from the BPS share recommendations to help the public, health workers and test and trace call handlers appreciate the importance of self-isolation and practical ways to achieve this.
Lead author, Professor Madelynne Arden, said:
“The NHS test and trace services and local public health teams have been working to identify people at risk and to instruct them to self-isolate, but adherence has been low.
This new guidance acknowledges the barriers to self-isolation that many experience and provides advice on ways to overcome them.”
Key recommendations include:
Professor Arden continued:
“Self-isolation is a key part of the UK strategy to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by people who are symptomatic and have tested positive, and for those who are at risk of developing Covid-19 due to having had close contact with someone with symptoms or a positive test.
So far there has been little focus on how we support people to self-isolate. Instructing them to do so is not enough.
We need to acknowledge that self-isolating can be difficult for many people due to a range of different factors.
Educating people about what they need to do, when and why and helping them to plan and supporting their isolation is the best way to increase adherence to self-isolation so important in the fight against Covid-19."
Dr Angel Chater, chair of the BPS Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention taskforce, said:
“These guidelines are part of the continuing work of the BPS Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention taskforce in its aim to demonstrate to health officials the key behavioural science considerations that can optimise public health efforts.”