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Health information during the H1N1 influenza pandemic: did the amount received influence infection prevention behaviors?

Etingen B, LaVela SL, Miskevics S, Goldstein B. Health information during the H1N1 influenza pandemic: did the amount received influence infection prevention behaviors? Journal of community health. 2013 Jun 1; 38(3):443-50.

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In the wake of uncertainty due to the H1N1 influenza pandemic, amount and sources of H1N1-related information were examined in a cohort at high-risk for respiratory complications. Factors associated with adequate amount of information were identified. A cross-sectional mailed survey was conducted in 2010 with veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders. Bivariate comparisons assessed adequate H1N1-realted information versus not enough and too much. Multivariate regression identified variables associated with receipt of adequate information. A greater proportion who received adequate versus not enough information received H1N1 vaccination (61.87 vs. 48.49 %, p < 0.0001). A greater proportion who received adequate versus too much information received seasonal vaccination (84.90 vs. 71.02 %, p < 0.0001) and H1N1 vaccination (61.87 vs. 42.45 %, p < 0.0001). Variables associated with greater odds of receiving adequate information included being white, a college graduate, and having VA health professionals as their primary information source. Receiving adequate information was associated with lower odds of staying home with flu/flu-like symptoms, and higher odds of H1N1 vaccine receipt and wearing a facemask. Receiving appropriate amounts of information from valid sources may impact adherence to infection control recommendations during pandemics. Findings can be used to facilitate efforts ensuring information is received by high-risk populations.

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