Attitudes to living and working in pandemic conditions among emergency prehospital medical care personnel

Watt, Kerrianne, Tippett, Vivienne C., Raven, Steven G., Jamrozik, Konrad, Coory, Michael, Archer, Frank and Kelly, Heath A. (2010) Attitudes to living and working in pandemic conditions among emergency prehospital medical care personnel. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 25 1: 13-19. doi:10.1017/S1049023X00007597

Author Watt, Kerrianne
Tippett, Vivienne C.
Raven, Steven G.
Jamrozik, Konrad
Coory, Michael
Archer, Frank
Kelly, Heath A.
Title Attitudes to living and working in pandemic conditions among emergency prehospital medical care personnel
Journal name Prehospital and Disaster Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1049-023X
Publication date 2010-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S1049023X00007597
Volume 25
Issue 1
Start page 13
End page 19
Total pages 7
Place of publication United States
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Little is known about the risk perceptions and attitudes of healthcare personnel, especially of emergency prehospital medical care personnel, regarding the possibility of an outbreak or epidemic event.This study was designed to investigate pre-event knowledge and attitudes of a national sample of the emergency prehospital medical care providers in relation to a potential human influenza pandemic, and to determine predictors of these attitudes.Surveys were distributed to a random, cross-sectional sample of 20% of the Australian emergency prehospital medical care workforce (n = 2,929), stratified by the nine services operating in Australia, as well as by gender and location. The surveys included: (1) demographic information; (2) knowledge of influenza; and (3) attitudes and perceptions related to working during influenza pandemic conditions. Multiple logistic regression models were constructed to identify predictors of pandemic-related risk perceptions.Among the 725 Australian emergency prehospital medical care personnel who responded, 89% were very anxious about working during pandemic conditions, and 85% perceived a high personal risk associated with working in such conditions. In general, respondents demonstrated poor knowledge in relation to avian influenza, influenza generally, and infection transmission methods. Less than 5% of respondents perceived that they had adequate education/training about avian influenza. Logistic regression analyses indicate that, in managing the attitudes and risk perceptions of emergency prehospital medical care staff, particular attention should be directed toward the paid, male workforce (as opposed to volunteers), and on personnel whose relationship partners do not work in the health industry.These results highlight the potentially crucial role of education and training in pandemic preparedness. Organizations that provide emergency prehospital medical care must address this apparent lack of knowledge regarding infection transmission, and procedures for protection and decontamination. Careful management of the perceptions of emergency prehospital medical care personnel during a pandemic is likely to be critical in achieving an effective response to a widespread outbreak of infectious disease.
Keyword Attitudes
Emergency medical services
Infection control
Risk perceptions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 08 Feb 2011, 15:08:13 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Public Health