Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 569

Full Length Research Paper

A cross-sectional internet-based survey of influenza A (H1N1) pandemic: Risk perceptions, behavioural responses and vaccination practices at Lund University, Sweden

Geofrey Musinguzi1,2*, Nicodemus Mandere Mandere3, Benedict Oppong Asamoah1and Eden Foreman1
1International Master Programme in Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden. 2Makerere University School of Public Health, Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, P. O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda. 3Lund University Centre for Sustainable Science, (LUCSUS), Sweden.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 25 February 2012
  •  Published: 30 April 2012

Abstract

The 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic caused worldwide panic. Response to the pandemic varied widely between and within countries. The Swedish National Board of Health and Social Welfare responded by recommending vaccination of the entire population and a wide range of community mitigation measures. This study assessed the impact of the Swedish policy interventions. The study employed an internet-based questionnaire survey to collect data from master students on English programs at Lund University. The results show that majority of the respondents were aware of the pandemic and the Swedish government’s recommended mitigation measures. The overall adoption of the recommended measures was low among the respondents. Vaccination uptake was 43.1%. The low uptake was attributed to vaccine safety concerns and low risk perceptions. Mitigation measures that were provided for free, and those that did not affect the daily routine received a high adoption compared to those that entailed spending money. The government’s communication on influenza A (H1N1) was effective; however, some areas needed improvement to enhance adoption. It is imperative that communication about risk and benefits are communicated but with emphasis on the positive to avoid the dominance of the negative. In addition, group specific fora are necessary to address concerns.

 

Key words: Behaviour responses, influenza A (H1N1), pandemic, risk perceptions, vaccination practices.