Professor Lisa Brown Co-Authors Tool to Help Determine Risks of Social Activities During COVID-19

October 17, 2020

Lisa M. Brown, PhD, ABPP, FGSA, a clinical psychologist at Palo Alto University has co-authored a new interactive tool called "Decision Aid" developed by the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) to help people make more informed decisions when considering interacting with other people or taking part in activities outside their homes during the pandemic. Intended for older adults, the survey tool is also useful for all ages, especially as people consider traveling for the holidays.

Brown, who serves on the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Covid-19 Task Force said, “The need for this type of decision aid became clear as GSA COVID-19 Task Force members talked to colleagues, friends, and family.” 
This interactive tool (also available in PDF format in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin) is designed to help people determine what their risk tolerance and risk factors are. It guides users through a series of questions that are based on their interests and the activity’s level of risk. Working step-by-step through this decision aid may help individuals clarify the reasons for doing or not doing an activity where other people are present. 
As cities impose a variety of rules or guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as promoting physical distancing and using face masks, some may feel uncertain when choosing whether to visit friends and family members in person, or when to participate in activities in public places. The Decision Aid is intended to help users, who do not have COVID-19 symptoms nor have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 during the previous two weeks, make more informed decisions.  It is not intended to replace the advice of a health care provider.
“While it cannot tell a person to do or not do an activity, the aid is very helpful in getting a full picture of risk,” said Brown.