Risk Perception of Seasonal and Swine Influenza Among University College Students: Does Study Direction Influence Attitudes?
In 2009, Norway faced the global challenge of the influenz a pandemic. Risk communication is an important tool within healthy promoting work. In this study the main aim was to expl ore reflections of students on th e risk assessment of season flu and the swine flu in 2009 according to field of study. A cross-secti onal questionnaire survey based on 505 students is presented. 42.4% were health subject students, and 57.6% were non- health subject related students. The majori ty of the students were 20-24 years old. Most of the respondents were not concerned at being infected with the swine flu, and did unde restimate the death to ll of the common flu . Students were more concerned about the swine flu than the regular season flu. By logistic regression, the odds ratio for taking the swine flu vaccine was greater among stude nts who were concerned (O.R. = 2.5). During the swine flu pande mic, student trust towards the health authorities was low. Among the student s, 74% stated they would consider advice from the health authorities, 37% from the ir parents and 20% from mass me dia. Stating risk of getting the common flu was at the medium or great ri sk level for far less non- health students than for health students, 38.2% versus 55.6%, P = 0.001. The perceived infection risk wa s likewise higher in the health student group, 52.4% versus 36.2%, P = 0.001. The respondents had little faith in general p ublic vaccination as well as being critical concerning side effects of vaccination. The results from the study indicated that the students would rather follow advice about their pers onal hygiene than advice to take the swine flu-vaccine.
Berg, John E.
Jacobsen, Ida Wulff