Khorram-Manesh A, Dulebenets MA, Goniewicz K
Int J Environ Res Public Health 18 (11) - [2021-05-30; online 2021-05-30]
In the absence of a specific treatment or vaccines, public health strategies are the main measures to use in the initial stages of a pandemic to allow surveillance of infectious diseases. During the ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), several countries initiated various public health strategies, such as contact tracing and quarantine. The present study aims to conduct a systematic literature review to identify the presence of educational initiatives that promote the implementation of public health strategies before public health emergencies, with a special focus on contact tracing applications. Using Science Direct, PubMed, Scopus, and Gothenburg University search engines, all published scientific articles were included, while conference, reports, and non-scientific papers were excluded. The outcomes of the reviewed studies indicate that the effective implementation of public health strategies depends on the peoples' willingness to participate and collaborate with local authorities. Several factors may influence such willingness, of which ethical, psychological, and practical factors seem to be the most important and frequently discussed. Moreover, individual willingness and readiness of a community may also vary based on the acquired level of knowledge about the incident and its cause and available management options. Educational initiatives, proper communication, and timely information at the community level were found to be the necessary steps to counteract misinformation and to promote a successful implementation of public health strategies and attenuate the effects of a pandemic. The systematic review conducted as a part of this study would benefit the relevant stakeholders and policy makers and assist with effective designing and implementation.