Social norms and values affect our way of acting in connection with epidemics and pandemics. The spread of COVID-19 has been particularly high in areas and groups defined as vulnerable. Causes have been considered to be overcrowding in combination with generational housing, vulnerable work situations (service professions are overrepresented), and difficulties for authorities to reach out with information that is interpreted and followed in the desired way by the recipients.
“The home care service interviews residents and relatives” is a pilot study that aims to develop a method for two-way communication with risk groups in areas of low socioeconomic status through sustainable health literacy – the ability to understand and use information regarding how to improve health. The aim of the study is to contribute to reducing the spread and effects of COVID-19; to increase knowledge and find innovative ways in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; and to contribute to building preparedness for future pandemic outbreaks. To make this a definite and feasible goal, it is important first to understand the causes and mechanisms behind the spread of an infection.
In this project, specially trained home care staff will interview users and their relatives in their home language. The project takes place in Sweden, but the intent is for the results to be useful globally in future pandemic prevention. Parallel to this study will a comparative study be carried out in some 20 countries worldwide: “Values in Crisis a Crisis of Values” (VIC). The two parts will be integrated, making it possible to analyse how values change when a society is struck by a new infectious disease.
The results will be made available to Swedish municipalities, regions, and other government agencies. The investigation model that will be developed will have scalability towards other operational areas.