HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Singapore or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of

International Public Health Conference

March 21-23, 2024 | Singapore

IPHC 2023

Rachel Leonard

Speaker at International Public Health Conference 2023 - Rachel Leonard
Queen's University Belfast, Ireland

Title : Psychological and psychosocial determinants of COVID health related behaviours (COHeRe): An evidence and gap map


We created a live, searchable and publicly available evidence and gap map (EGM) containing the existing evidence (published and unpublished) on determinants of the uptake and adherence to behaviours that can reduce the risk of infection or transmission of COVID-19.

Our EGM includes 1034 studies of these, 1661 were cross sectional, 122 longitudinal, 132 qualitative, 56 reviews, 82 interventions, and 55 other (mixed methods, comparison studies etc). The EGM included, 496 measured social distancing, 388 masks and face coverings, 309 handwashing, 182 physical distancing, 158 isolation/quarantine, 78 respiratory hygiene/ etiquette, 59 cleaning surfaces, and 48 avoiding touching the T-zone. There were 322 studies which used a composite measure of two or more behaviours. Throughout the mapping process it became evident that there was inconsistency in how the terms social distancing and physical distancing were used within the included studies. With the two terms often being used interchangeably. A large volume of studies examined the relationship between demographics and non-malleable determinants and health-related behaviours, with fewer studies examining malleable determinants.

Our EGM allow users to see, at a glance, where research exists and where there are gaps. This is important for funders, researchers, public health bodies and members of the public.

Audience Take Away Notes:

  • This EGM provides a valuable resource for researchers, policy-makers and the public to access the available evidence on the determinants of various COVID-19 health protective behaviours.
  • The map can also be used to help guide policy during the ongoing pandemic and potential future outbreaks of COVID-19 or other respiratory infections.
  • Evidence included in the map will be explored further through a series of systematic reviews examining which malleable determinants are more closely associated with uptake and maintenance of individual protective behaviours.


Dr Leonard studied Social Work at Queen’s University, Belfast and graduated in 2015. She then completed a Masters in Social Research, subsequently receiving her PhD degree in 2019 at the same institution. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow, supervised by Prof. Martin Dempster at the School of Psychology, QUB. She is an experienced health care researcher, with a particular expertise in conducting and leading on a number of systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and studies related to health interventions.