Online Program

Risk perception related to communicable disease among international college students: A mixed method study

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Patricia Radovich, PhD, RN, CNS, FCCM, Patient Care Services, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA
Sheryl Tyson, PhD, RN, PMHCNS, School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA
Emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases pose a rising global health threat to developing and industrialized countries. Universal and selective intervention efforts have been ineffective in controlling communicable disease transmission due to a combined lack of factual knowledge, inaccurate perception of individual vulnerability, and inadequate adherence to recommended prevention guidelines. This study examined the variables of knowledge, understanding, risk perception, attitude, and behaviors among international college students related to non-sexually transmitted communicable diseases. A parallel descriptive (quantitative-qualitative) mixed method study examined risk variables using the Risk Perception of Infectious Diseases Questionnaire and an individual semi-structured interview guide. The sample included 109 international students from Africa, Asia, the Middle Ease, Pacific Rim, and South America, who were currently attending seven U.S. universities. Quantitative data analyses using descriptive and inferential statistics were performed. Qualitative interviews were conducted and analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Quantitative results identified the most important information needed during an outbreak as infection prevention (49%) and disease transmission (28%) and recognition of symptoms (10%). Preferred sources of information during an outbreak were the internet (60%), TV (14%), government agencies (9%) and physicians (6%). Qualitative analysis provided unique insights into the quantitative results. Mixed method data analysis revealed behavioral, cognitive, cultural, and psychological conceptual categories related to prevention of communicable disease. Risk perception among international college students is related to a number of individual and sociocultural factors that must be understood to develop preventive interventions with a greater likelihood of student adherence.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate cognitive, psychological, cultural and behavioral influences on international college students perception of risk related to communicable diseases.

Keyword(s): Communicable Disease, Risk Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on this doctoral dissertation. I have advanced to candidacy in the Nursing Doctoral Program at Azusa Pacific University. I have 35 years experience in nursing and 20 years as adjunct faculty at various universities in Southern California. My scientific interests include international populations, transplant and critically ill populations, international travel and communicable disease transmission and effects.
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.