The association of public trust with the utilization of digital contact tracing for COVID-19 in Japan

Yupeng He, Hiroshi Yatsuya, Atsuhiko Ota, Takahiro Tabuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To examin whether public trust was associated with the utilization of COVID-19 Contact Confirming Application (COCOA) in those who self-reported a history of COVID-19. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Data were obtained from the Japan Society and New Tobacco Internet Survey, a nationwide online survey conducted from February to March 2021, which also assessed items related to COVID-19 and public trust. We included 453 participants with a history of COVID-19. Participants' reports of their general trust in the national government and the related policies, attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination, and the adherence to the preventive measures against SARS-CoV-2 spread were compared between COCOA users and non-users controlling for age, sex, and socioeconomic statuses by analysis of covariance. Mediation analysis was conducted to examine whether public trust mediates the associations of certain participants’ characteristics with COCOA utilization. Results: Seventy-six percent (344/453) reported the COCOA utilization. Compared to non-users, the users were younger, more likely to be men and had a tendency to have higher education. They were more willing to get COVID-19 vaccination, adherent to public health measures against the spread of the SARS-Cov-2, and more likely to express trust in government in general and policies related to COVID-19 independent of age, sex, and the socioeconomic status. Trust in government did not mediate the associations of age and education with COCOA utilization. Conclusions: The utilization of digital contact tracing technology for the health of public during pandemic was related to the degree of trust in the government in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100279
JournalPublic Health in Practice
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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