COVID-19 pandemic risk assessment: Systematic review

Man Ying Amanda CHU, Wing Hong Patrick KWOK, Jacky N. L. CHAN, Mike K. P. SO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic presents the possibility of future large-scale infectious disease outbreaks. In response, we conducted a systematic review of COVID-19 pandemic risk assessment to provide insights into countries’ pandemic surveillance and preparedness for potential pandemic events in the post-COVID-19 era. 

Objective: We aim to systematically identify relevant articles and synthesize pandemic risk assessment findings to facilitate government officials and public health experts in crisis planning. 

Methods: This study followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and included over 620,000 records from the World Health Organization COVID-19 Research Database. Articles related to pandemic risk assessment were identified based on a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Relevant articles were characterized based on study location, variable types, data-visualization techniques, research objectives, and methodologies. Findings were presented using tables and charts. 

Results: Sixty-two articles satisfying both the inclusion and exclusion criteria were identified. Among the articles, 32.3% focused on local areas, while another 32.3% had a global coverage. Epidemic data were the most commonly used variables (74.2% of articles), with over half of them (51.6%) employing two or more variable types. The research objectives covered various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with risk exposure assessment and identification of risk factors being the most common theme (35.5%). No dominant research methodology for risk assessment emerged from these articles. 

Conclusion: Our synthesized findings support proactive planning and development of prevention and control measures in anticipation of future public health threats. Copyright © 2024 Chu et al.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-925
JournalRisk Management and Healthcare Policy
Early online dateApr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


Chu, A. M. Y., Kwok, P. W. H., Chan, J. N. L., & So, M. K. P. (2024). COVID-19 pandemic risk assessment: Systematic review. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 17, 903-925.


  • Meta-analysis
  • Coronavirus
  • Pandemic risk management
  • WHO COVID-19 research database
  • Data visualization


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