225477 Employee perceptions of workplace H1N1 pandemic influenza preparedness: National survey results from the US and four European countries

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

William E. Pollard, PhD , Office of Communication, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Sharmily Roy, MPH , Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta
In the event of pandemic influenza, preparedness in the workplace and communication to employees are important for maintaining the safety of employees and for mitigating the effects of the pandemic. This paper examines national and international survey data on employee perceptions of preparedness in the workplace. The surveys were conducted in July and August of 2009 for Porter Novelli, an international marketing and public relations firm. In the US, data were collected on the Porter Novelli HealthStyles survey, an annual mail panel survey with 4,500 respondents. In Europe, data were collected on the Porter Novelli EuroPNStyles survey, an annual internet panel survey with 2,000 respondents in each of the following four countries: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Employed respondents were asked if their workplace had developed a plan to respond to a possible outbreak of pandemic influenza, and if so, which of several kinds of information concerning preparedness had been communicated to them. The percentage of employees reporting that their workplace had developed a response plan ranged from 12% to 30% by country. Results are compared across countries and differences are discussed in light of recent national experiences with H1N1 and avian influenza. Occupational data are available for the US respondents with specific questions about work in a health care related job and direct contact with patients, and occupational differences in responses are examined. Recommendations for preparedness and communication with employees are discussed..

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the two most common types of information communicated to employees about workplace H1N1 pandemic influenza preparedness in the US and Europe. 2. Describe occupational differences in employee perceptions of workplace H1N1 pandemic influenza preparedness

Keywords: Health Communications, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Ph.D.-level health professional involved in H1N1 emergency communication planning and have experience with health surveys and analyis of the results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.