Compliance to health risk warning in notification of COVID-19 close contacts of exposure and Self-monitoring requirements
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Ministry of Health, Singapore
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A334
Aim: We aim to describe the overall compliance rates in the electronic acknowledgement of HRW notification receipt and submission of ART results and its contribution to effective pandemic management. Methodology and Results: Based on electronic records held centrally. From 1 Nov 21 to 31 Jan 22, a total of 435,398 Health Risk Warning (HRW) notifications were sent via SMS to close contacts of COVID-19 cases. 95.56% of the intended recipients acknowledged receipt electronically and 95.04% of the pHRWs submitted ART results electronically. We noted a statistically significant difference between the proportions of those aged <60 years old and those aged ≥60 years, in terms of electronic acknowledgement and ART result submission compliance rates. Discussion: Plausible explanations for the trend observed include a relatively higher proportion of the elderly being non-conversant in the English language or who had a lower level of digital literacy. Those living alone and/or who were socially isolated during the pandemic may have experienced difficulties obtaining assistance in terms of interpreting and responding to these electronic messages. Given the widespread acceptability of SMSs as an electronic means to quickly notify close contacts of all ages, their exposure and prescribed public health actions, we are of the opinion that it is a valuable tool and should be used for future pandemics in populations characterised by a high level of social responsibility and high mobile phone penetration rate. However, particular attention should be paid to individuals aged 81 to 85 years old and in the adjacent age bands as they were noted to be characterised by low acknowledgement and compliance rates, presumably due to lower IT literacy and limited accessibility to electronic devices.
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