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Deriving Behavior Model Parameters from Survey Data: Self-Protective Behavior Adoption During the 2009–2010 Influenza A(H1N1) Pandemic

Authors

  • David P. Durham,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
    2. Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
      David P. Durham, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA; ddurham@alumni.cmu.edu
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  • Elizabeth A. Casman,

    1. Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Steven M. Albert

    1. Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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David P. Durham, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA; ddurham@alumni.cmu.edu.

Abstract

In this paper, we demonstrate how public opinion surveys can be designed to collect information pertinent to computational behavior modeling, and we present the results of a public opinion and behavior survey conducted during the 2009–2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic. The results are used to parameterize the Health Belief Model of individual health-protective decision making. Survey subjects were asked questions about their perceptions of the then-circulating influenza and attitudes towards two personal protective behaviors: vaccination and avoidance of crowds. We empirically address two important issues in applying the Health Belief Model of behavior to computational infectious disease simulation: (1) the factors dynamically influencing the states of the Health Belief Model variables and (2) the appropriateness of the Health Belief Model in describing self-protective behavior in the context of pandemic influenza.

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