All authors have no competing interests.
Perception, attitudes and knowledge regarding the 2009 swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus pandemic among health-care workers in Australia
Article first published online: 25 AUG 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2010 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 46, Issue 11, pages 673–679, November 2010
How to Cite
Tebruegge, M., Pantazidou, A., Ritz, N., Connell, T., Bryant, P., Donath, S. and Curtis, N. (2010), Perception, attitudes and knowledge regarding the 2009 swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus pandemic among health-care workers in Australia. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46: 673–679. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01820.x
There are no sources of funding relevant to this manuscript.
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 25 AUG 2010
- Accepted for publication 16 December 2009.
- health-care professionals;
- influenza virus;
- swine flu
Aim: To determine the perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of Australian health-care workers (HCWs) regarding the novel, swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV) outbreak that reached the country in early May 2009.
Methods: Self-administered, anonymous Web-based survey conducted during the early stages of the S-OIV pandemic. Participants comprised hospital- and community-based medical and nursing staff, medical students, allied health professionals, laboratory staff and administrative personnel.
Results: Of the 947 participants surveyed, 59.4% were not convinced that Australia was sufficiently prepared for an influenza pandemic. Only 17.6% of the participants stated they were prepared to work unconditionally during a pandemic; 36.5% stated they would work if they had access to antiviral treatment; 27.9% would if provided with antiviral prophylaxis; and 7.5% would refuse to work. In addition, 37.5% of the participants responded they would refuse or avoid being involved in screening suspected cases. A total of 47.7% admitted to possessing a personal supply of antivirals or having considered this option. Only 48.0% provided a realistic estimate of the mortality associated with an influenza pandemic at a population level. HCWs overestimating the mortality risk and HCWs believing the efficacy of antiviral prophylaxis to be low were significantly less likely to be prepared to work (P= 0.04 and P= 0.0004, respectively).
Conclusions: To ensure adequate staffing during an influenza pandemic, preparedness plans should anticipate significant levels of absenteeism by choice. Interventions aimed at increasing staff retention during a pandemic require further evaluation.