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Research project: A digital behaviour change intervention to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak: A rapid co-design, implementation and evaluation project. (GERMDEFENCE)

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What is Germ Defence? Germ Defence is a digital behaviour change intervention to help reduce the spread of viruses like coronavirus (Covid-19). It is designed to be used by members of the public to protect themselves and the people they live with in the home. It was developed based on evidence, theory and plenty of feedback from members of the public.

GermDefence logo

Does it stop viruses spreading in the home?

Yes! A study with over 20,000 people found that using Germ Defence led to more hand washing and fewer colds, flu and stomach upsets1. It also helped stop viruses spreading to other people in a household.


How will Germ Defence help with Covid-19?

Germ Defence has now been updated for the Covid-19 pandemic. It contains the latest advice and guidelines from health experts on how to stay healthy. This is particularly important for people at more risk from the virus.

Users can choose to learn about implementing simple behaviours at home, such as hand washing or keeping distance if someone in the household is ill, and set their own goals to suit their lifestyle. Many people are already using Germ Defence across a wide range of countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Our research team is continuing to optimise the Germ Defence intervention in line with feedback from members of the public to make sure it is as feasible, persuasive, motivating and engaging as possible. We are working closely with Public Health England and public contributors during this process.

Funding: UK Research and Innovation

Duration: March 2020-May 2021

For more information visit the Germ Defence website

Who is the research team?

The Germ Defence team includes researchers and clinicians from the University of Bath, University of Southampton and Public Health England. It also includes members of the public who have helped make Germ Defence as relevant and helpful to people as possible.

Find the full list of team members on the staff tab.

Related research groups

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

Key Publication

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