Coronavirus: physician and patient perspectives – 5th week

Week five of the report looks at the responses from 2,920 Healthcare professionals (HCPs)and 798 members of the general public from USA and Europe.

For the first time there has been a very small reduction in the overall perceived threat level of Covid-19, although the US has seen a small increase, as has Italy, reversing the decrease of last week.

The UK sees some of the biggest changes this week, with increased confidence in governmental, local and facility-level plans as the NHS ramps up its capacity,  with emergency hospitals and additional manufacturing of ventilators and PPE.

It remains the case that regardless of levels of governmental confidence, HCPs remain optimistic about the local and hospital-level plans to contain the virus

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Confidence in government and local plans

This week, HCP confidence in government plans is dramatically improved, with significant increases in France, Germany and the UK. Spain is the only country is to see a small decrease from HCPs, reflecting the dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases. For patients though, the only country to see an increase (of 15%) is the UK.

The same picture emerges in terms of confidence in local plans, although the increases are smaller, and patient confidence is largely the same. The UK is the exception here, with patient confidence in local plans up by 16%.

HCP confidence in their own hospital’s plans remains high.

How serious of a threat is Covid-19 at a local level

For the first time the perceived threat level of Covid-19 has decreased slightly for HCP respondents overall, and stayed the same for patients, with the US seeing an increase, in both groups, as cases rise exponentially. Italy also sees a small increase after last week’s drop.

Looking at the separate respondent groups, the countries reporting the highest threat remain Italy, Spain and the UK.

The perceived threat level for patients in the UK and France is much decreased (20% in France, 14% in the UK), despite French patients’ reduced confidence in their government plans for dealing with pandemic.

How can we contain Covid-19?

Vaccinations and the introduction of curfews remain the least well supported of the proposed containment measures, although 56% of HCPs think that vaccinations would be effective, the highest percentage to date.

For most other suggested containment measures the picture is unchanged, with small variations in support as the majority of countries find themselves in national lockdown.

Staying up-to-date: media coverage

Whilst the number of HCPs who consider media coverage to be ‘alarmist and unnecessary’ remains static at 11%, the patient audience percentage increased significantly, from 13% last week to 24%.

Given the HCP sentiment this likely to reflect anxieties around increasing death rates and new stories reporting on the frontline situation which is not seen as sensationalism by a healthcare audience.

Staying up-to-date: official information

As clinical pressures increase, and management of Covid-19 patients becomes more habitual (although 34% respondents have not treated any patients with Covid-19), HCPs are checking official information sources less frequently.

However, 93% are still checking at least once a day, but the number checking ‘multiple times a day’ has dropped from 53% in week three, to 42% this week.

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