UNAIR Researcher Volunteers for Development of COVID-19 Risk Detection Tool

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Researchers from Universitas Airlangga and other universities in Indonesia have collaborated with international teams to develop an online test tool to estimate a person’s risk to be contracted and to transmit the coronavirus.

The idea of an online test tool was originally proposed by Gjalt-Jorn Peters from Open University and Sylvia Roozen from Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

Around 150 scientists from 35 countries in the world have voluntarily supported the development of the tool.

Triana Kesuma Dewi, a Health Psychology Lecturer and Researcher at Faculty of Psychology of UNAIR has been part of the international team of researchers working on this development. Besides Triana, several researchers from Indonesia who were involved AREAstin Sokang, PhD (UKRIDA); Sali Rahadi Asih, PhD (UI); Andrian Liem, PhD (University of Macau); and Ratri Nurwanti, M.Psi, psychologist (Universitas Brawijaya).

This online detection tool was first launched in the Netherlands on May 7, 2020. While in Indonesia, online test for people has been made live from June 6, 2020. The test result data will be published in an open access repository so that it can be accessed by anyone.

The tool, which has been worked on since March 2020, has been translated into 27 languages and launched in various countries in the world.

The widely spread online tests explore the reasons why people do or do not do something. For example, not keeping a safe physical distance from others when such information is key in encouraging behavioral change in society.

“We made this tool based on the Reasoned Action Approach (Fishbein & AJzen, 2010). So it does not only see the behaviors which affect the risk of transmission, but also assesses what factors influence the behavior. This makes it possible to identify what interventions are relevant to enhance the expected protective behavior, “ Triana explains in a telephone interview on Friday, June 5, 2020.

Users of the test will know the risk estimation of them being infected or transmitting the coronavirus. The estimation is measured from three risk factors based on scientific studies, maintaining hand hygiene; maintaining a safe distance (social distancing) in public places; and staying at home or avoiding crowds.

“We want to see certain behaviors that become our focus, to calculate the risk whether they carry a high additional risk in transmitting this coronavirus. Additional risks here are things that we can control and change, not chronic or congenital illnesses suffered, “says Traina, who is also a PhD candidate from Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

“We know that changing behavior is not an easy thing. Hopefully, this test tool can provide recommendations in understanding the protective behavior related to COVID-19, the causing factors of the behavior, and what approaches are relevant for changing the behavior. Thus, we hope it can provide recommendations for the government and health organizations to make policies and public information relevant, ” she hopes.