Conference organized as part of the 88th ACFAS Congress held from May 3 to May 7, 2021
The current pandemic is causing great concern about the risks associated with COVID-19. The scientific literature documents that a majority of individuals have a strong tendency to make choices based on a worst-case scenario. A key point is the importance of providing the public with good evidence to help individuals make critical choices, including decisions about whether or not to go to work, whether or not to send their children to school, especially for parents who have children with medical conditions (e.g., children with asthma), etc., but also choices about whether to use the contact tracing application or whether to get vaccinated. These decisions may depend on many individual, cultural, social or economic factors. It is important to understand these factors in order to help public health deliver clear messages to improve adherence to recommendations such as barrier behaviors and prevention behaviors, and to target certain groups more specifically.
This conference focused on the study of the perception of risks associated with COVID-19 in Quebec with the analysis of different surveys on prevention behaviors among the general population, among targeted populations (parents of sick children, etc.) or on specific themes. A complementary analysis of data from conversations on social networks, notably Twitter (specifically concerning the vaccine), also allowed for the identification of certain concerns. A comparison of the results for Quebec was made with studies conducted in other countries, also looking at the evolution over time of the perception and prevention behaviors.
This conference was jointly organized by CIRANO, the Centre de recherche en santé publique de l'Université de Montréal et du CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Ile-de-Montréal (CReSP), the Laboratoire d'économie expérimentale de l'Université Laval (LEEL), and the Disability, Employment, and Public Policies Initiative (DEPPI).
Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin, Full Professor at Polytechnique Montréal and President and Chief Executive Officer of CIRANO, was responsible for this conference.