Public knowledge, attitude and behavioural changes in an Indian population during the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak

  • Shivlingesh Krishnappa Kamate Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari
  • Anil Agrawal Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari
  • Harshvardhan Chaudhary Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari
  • Karanprakash Singh Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari
  • Prashant Mishra Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari
  • Kaliash Asawa Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari
Keywords: Swine flu, knowledge, attitude, and behaviour.

Abstract

Background:  Influenza A (H1N1)  is  the  most  recent  of  the  pandemic  diseases  that has affected  the  world's  population. The  aim  of  this  study  was  to  assess  knowledge,  attitude  and  behavioural  responses  of  an  Indian  community  toward Influenza A (H1N1).

Methodology:  A  cross-sectional  questionnaire  survey  was  conducted  in  Udaipur  (Rajasthan,  India)  among  791  individuals  (57%  males  and  43%  females)  from  23 July    to  27 August  2009.  Outcome  measures  were  perceived  seriousness  of  the  disease,  opinion  about  government  and  health  authorities,  perceived  efficacy  of  various  preventive  measures,  avoidance  behaviours,  and increased  hygiene  maintenance  in  relation  to Influenza A (H1N1). 

Results:  Of  791  respondents,  83.1%  had  heard  about Influenza A (H1N1),  but  47.4%  felt  that  they  did  not  have  enough  information  about  the  pandemic.  Only  34.5%  felt  that  their  health  would  be  seriously  affected  if  they  contracted Influenza A (H1N1).  Over  half  of  the  respondents  (59.6%)  had  no  idea  about  the  duration  of  the pandemic.  Knowledge  differed  significantly  according  to  gender,  age  groups,  and educational  status  as  well  as  working  status; however, females had  better  attitude  than  males.  Respondents  rated  face  masks  and  vaccines  as  the  most  effective  preventive  measures. 

Conclusion:  Results showed that in spite of having acceptable knowledge and attitude, behavioural response to Influenza A (H1N1) was poor. Therefore,  increased  efforts  should  be  made  by  the  government  to  understand  what  factors  are  associated  with  adaptive  behaviour changes  among  the general  public. Emphasizing  the  efficacy  of  recommended  actions  and  the  possible  duration  of  the  outbreak  may further help  to  improve  public compliance.                 

Author Biographies

Shivlingesh Krishnappa Kamate, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari

MDS  

       Senior lecturer

Department of Public Health Dentistry

Pacific dental college and hospital

Debari, Udaipur-313024, Rajasthan, India

Anil Agrawal, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari

BDS                     

Postgraduate student

Department of Public Health Dentistry

Pacific dental college and hospital

Debari, Udaipur-313024, Rajasthan, India

Harshvardhan Chaudhary, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari

BDS                     

Postgraduate student

Department of Public Health Dentistry

Pacific dental college and hospital

Debari, Udaipur-313024, Rajasthan, India

Karanprakash Singh, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari

BDS                     

Postgraduate student

Department of Public Health Dentistry

Pacific dental college and hospital

Debari, Udaipur-313024, Rajasthan, India

Prashant Mishra, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari

BDS                     

Postgraduate student

Department of Public Health Dentistry

Pacific dental college and hospital

Debari, Udaipur-313024, Rajasthan, India

Kaliash Asawa, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Pacific Dental College and Hospital Debari

BDS                     

Postgraduate student

Department of Public Health Dentistry

Pacific dental college and hospital

Debari, Udaipur-313024, Rajasthan, India

Published
2009-11-30
How to Cite
1.
Kamate SK, Agrawal A, Chaudhary H, Singh K, Mishra P, Asawa K (2009) Public knowledge, attitude and behavioural changes in an Indian population during the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak. J Infect Dev Ctries 4:007-014. doi: 10.3855/jidc.501
Section
Emerging Problems in Infectious Diseases