Community focus groups about a COVID-19 individual risk assessment tool: access, understanding and usefulness

Aliyah Keval*, Mohammad Titi, Hadi Omar Saleh, Staci Young, Julia Dickson Gomez, Vladimir Atanasov, Bernard Black, John Meurer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To make informed COVID-19 related decisions, individuals need information about their personal risks and how those risks may vary with specific demographic and health characteristics. The Fight COVID Milwaukee web-based risk assessment tool allows for assessment of COVID-19 mortality risk as a function of personal and neighborhood characteristics. The purpose of this study is to explore public understanding of this risk assessment tool and risk perception through community focus groups. Individuals were recruited from the general adult population in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA, to participate in nine online focus groups where the risk assessment tool was presented for feedback. Three main themes were identified in the focus groups regarding the web-based risk assessment tool: some challenges in accessibility, variable ease of understanding, and personal usefulness but uncertain value for others. This paper explores how members of the community interpret individual risk assessments and life expectancy estimations, and how these vary with age, gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and pre-existing comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1761
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • Focus groups
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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