The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3168.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 3

Abstract #74597

Bioterrorism preparedness: An online content review

Mariel Brechner, MPH and Heather Onuma. UCLA School of Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, UCLA Health and Media Research Group, 1145 Gayley Avenue, Ste. 304, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Recently, the public has been bombarded with general information and advice about potential bioterrorism attacks from several government sources, without a widely recognized and uniformly endorsed agent-specific preparedness message campaign. In an effort to gain information from currently existing campaigns, researchers at the UCLA Health and Media Research Group and the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters conducted an online keyword search using academic and consumer search engines in the spring of 2003. Special attention was given to Category A agents, which have been identified as primary agents for bioterrorism by the CDC. After a three month search, we were able to identify a number of major campaigns as well as websites with bioterrorism preparedness information. Content analysis of the materials revealed that access to materials was challenging, there was a lack of agent-specific information available to the general public, and there was inconsistent advice about how to prepare for a potential attack. Results suggest that researchers interested in developing bioterrorism communication campaigns or websites should first consider the quality of existing messages. Future applications of this type of online content review can be used to identify templates for or barriers to preparedness messages. These messages can be further tailored toward the researcherís intended target audience.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Bioterrorism, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, UCLA Health and Media Research Group, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Pre-Event Message Preparation for Terrorism (PRE-EMPT)
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Committee on Affiliates Student Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA