243269 Predictors of Knowledge of H1N1 Infection and Transmission in the U.S. Population

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:48 AM

Elena Savoia, MD MPH , Preparedness Emergency Response Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Marcia A. Testa, MPH PhD , Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
K. Viswanath, PhD , Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Since the early stages of the H1N1 pandemic, public communication has been recognized as a challenging issue. To investigate gaps in knowledge experienced by the U.S. population during the H1N1 pandemic and to identify the social determinants associated with such gaps a survey was conducted during March, 2010 using a representative random sample of U.S. households. Data were gathered from 1,569 respondents and analyzed using ordered logistic regression to study the impact of socio-economic factors and demographic characteristics on the individual's knowledge concerning H1N1 infection and transmission. Level of education was found to be associated with the level of knowledge about virus transmission. For each increase in level of education respondents had a 35% increased odds of being at a higher level of knowledge [OR=1.35, 95% C.I. 1.12-1.63]. Home ownership was positively associated with knowledge about signs and symptoms of H1N1 infection. Respondents owning a house had a 189% increased odds of being at the highest level of knowledge versus being at the lowest level of knowledge compared to respondents renting or occupying a house free of charge [OR=2.89, 95% C.I. 1.26-6.66]. Results suggest that socio-economic factors such as level of education and house ownership are associated with knowledge of H1N1. Policy makers and public health practitioners should take these factors into consideration when implementing educational and financial interventions promoting the health and preparedness of the population, and when designing communication campaigns during a public health emergency.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the social factors impacting communication to the public during a large scale emergency 2)Discuss the use of surveys in public health emergency preparedness communication 3) List the elements of a structural communication model in emergency preparedness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I performed the data analysis and wrote the manuscript
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.