NEWS29 June 2020

Public willing to attend face-to-face research, studies show

Covid-19 News UK

UK – Around three-quarters of people are ready to return to face-to-face research following the end of the Covid-19 lockdown, two studies show.

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According to a survey from participant recruitment company People for Research of more than 2,500 UK households between 17th and 20th June, around 72% of people would be comfortable returning to face-to-face research.

The survey found 88% of those in favour would be happy to attend one-to-one sessions, with 52% willing to take part in focus groups of up to eight people and 48% happy with in-home interviews.

The study said maintaining a two-metre gap between people during research sessions was the biggest priority for those willing to return to face-to-face research, followed by access to hand sanitiser and screens between researchers and participants.

The majority of survey respondents also said they would be more comfortable taking part in research once government rules relaxed enough to allow people to visit others’ homes.

A second study by qualitative fieldwork company Criteria found that 77% of a survey of 1,900 adults living in or around major cities and towns across the UK were willing to participate in face-to-face research.

Criteria’s survey was not nationally representative, but approached existing panellists or those who had previously expressed an interest in participating on a panel.

The survey found 47% were very comfortable with returning to face-to-face research, with 30% feeling fairly comfortable.

More than half of those surveyed said they felt compulsory use of face masks would make them feel more comfortable about face-to-face research.

The study warned that incentives for taking part in research in central London may need to increase in the short term to encourage attendance, due to increased travel and congestion charge costs.