Behavioral responses to the influenza A(H1N1) outbreak in Malaysia.

J Behav Med. 2011 Feb;34(1):23-31. Epub 2010 Aug 1.


Wong LP, Sam IC.


Medical Education and Research Development Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


In the setting of the new A(H1N1) outbreak, the study was conducted to assess: (1) fear of the A(H1N1) pandemic; (2) risk avoidance behavior; (3) health-protective behavior; and (4) psychosocial impact in the ethnically diverse population of Malaysia. A cross-sectional, computer-assisted telephone interview was conducted between July 11 and September 12, 2009. A total of 1,050 respondents were interviewed. Fear about the pandemic was high, with 73.2% of respondents reporting themselves as Slightly fearful/Fearful. High risk avoidance and health protective behavior were reported, with 78.0 and 99.0% reporting at least one avoidance and protective behavior respectively. Knowledge was a significant predictor for practice of healthprotective behavior across the three ethnic groups. Level of fear was significantly correlated with number of protective and avoidance behaviors. The study highlights the need for provision of accurate information that increases risk avoidance and health protective behaviors, while at the same time decreases fear or panic in the general public.

PMID: 20680674 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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