Knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to COVID-19 testing: A rapid scoping review

Imogen Bevan, Mats Stage Baxter, Helen R. Stagg, Alice Street*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Testing programs for COVID-19 depend on the voluntary actions of members of the public for their success. Understanding people’s knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to COVID-19 testing is, therefore, key to the design of effective testing programs worldwide. This paper reports on the findings of a rapid scoping review to map the extent, characteristics, and scope of social science research on COVID-19 testing and identifies key themes from the literature. Main findings include the discoveries that people are largely accepting of testing technologies and guidelines and that a sense of social solidarity is a key motivator of testing uptake. The main barriers to accessing and undertaking testing include uncertainty about eligibility and how to access tests, difficulty interpreting symptoms, logistical issues including transport to and from test sites and the discomfort of sample extraction, and concerns about the consequences of a positive result. The review found that existing research was limited in depth and scope. More research employing longitudinal and qualitative methods based in under-resourced settings and examining intersections between testing and experiences of social, political, and economic vulnerability is needed. Last, the findings of this review suggest that testing should be understood as a social process that is inseparable from processes of contact tracing and isolation and is embedded in people’s everyday routines, livelihoods and relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • COVID-19
  • social science
  • social solidarity
  • isolation
  • testing


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