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Influenza Research and Treatment
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 947906, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/947906
Research Article

Factors Associated with Increased Risk Perception of Pandemic Influenza in Australia

1School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia
2New South Wales Department of Health, Centre for Epidemiology and Research, NSW 2059, Australia

Received 15 December 2009; Accepted 15 June 2010

Academic Editor: Menno D. de Jong

Copyright © 2010 Jennifer Jacobs et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess factors associated with increased risk perception of pandemic influenza in Australia. The sample consisted of 2081 Australian adults aged 16 years and older who completed a short three item pandemic influenza question module which was incorporated into the NSW Health Adult Population Health Survey during the first quarter of 2007. After adjusting for covariates, multivariate analysis indicated that those living in rural regions were significantly more likely to perceive a high risk that a pandemic influenza would occur, while those with poor self-rated health perceived both a high likelihood of pandemic and high concern that self/family would be directly affected were such an event to occur. Those who spoke a language other than English at home and those on low incomes and younger people (16–24 years) were significantly more likely to have changed the way they lived their lives due to the possibility of pandemic influenza, compared to those who spoke only English at home, middle-high income earners, and older age groups, respectively. This data provides an Australian population baseline against which the risk perceptions of demographic subgroups regarding the current, and potential future pandemics, can be compared and monitored.