Covid-19 response

Experts assess public mood on Covid-19 testing

People’s perspectives on Covid-19 testing are being sought for a study that will inform future responses to the pandemic.

Edinburgh researchers are to find out more about the public’s understanding and expectations of testing during the crisis.

Study participants are being asked to share their experiences of testing and to say how results might influence their decision making during the pandemic.

Some 60 people. aged 20 to 80 – all living in Edinburgh and the Lothians – will be interviewed for the study, led by the University and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Public mood

Responses will help researchers gauge the public mood on current healthcare provision and the Scottish Government’s response to Covid-19 so far. 

Results will be shared with policy makers, laboratory and hospital managers, public health experts and other researchers.

The findings will inform a rapid-response working paper on testing for the Scottish Government. 

Joint approach

The study, funded by the Chief Scientist Office, involves researchers from Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science and the city’s Royal Infirmary Hospital. 

Lead researcher Dr Alice Street, a Senior Lecturer in Medical Anthropology, said the survey is vital to build public trust in testing procedures.

Participants are being recruited though community groups, social media channels, posters in doctors’ surgeries and appeals on local radio.

Journal article

Researchers will submit a peer-reviewed article for publication in an academic journal once the survey results have been analysed.

The research team will also organise a webinar that will feature expert speakers.

Comment pieces, based on the results, will be sent to mainstream media outlets and promoted on social media.


Diagnosis is a social, as well as a medical, process. Our goal is to provide in-depth research into people’s understandings of the purpose of different Covid-19 tests.

Dr Shona LeeResearch fellow

Related links

School of Social and Political Science 

Usher Institute

Chief Scientist Office

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