Knowledge and attitudes of university students toward pandemic influenza: a cross-sectional study from Turkey

Akan, Hulya; Gurol, Yesim; Izbirak, Guldal; Ozdatli, Sukran; Yilmaz, Gulden; Vitrinel, Ayca; Hayran, Osman
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p413
Academic Journal
Background: During an influenza pandemic, higher education institutions with large populations of young adults can become serious outbreak centers. Since outbreak management is essential to disease control, we aimed to examine university students' knowledge of and attitudes toward the pandemic influenza A/H1N1 and vaccination and other preventive measures. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 402 first year university students at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey between 1st and 30th of November 2009. Data regarding socio-demographic characteristics of the students, perceptions, level of knowledge and attitudes toward influenza pandemic and prevention measures were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed by the students affiliated with SANITAS, a university club of students in health related sciences. Results: 25.1% (101/402) of the study group perceived their personal risk of influenza as "high", while 40.5% (163/ 402) perceived it as "moderate", 20.6% (107/402) viewed it as "low" and 7.7% (31/402) indicated that it was "unknown". The risk perception of males was significantly lower than that of females (p = 0.004) and the risk perception among the students of health sciences was significantly lower than that of students of other sciences (p = 0.037). Within the study group, 72.1% (290/402) indicated that their main information source regarding H1N1 was the mass media. Health sciences students tended to rely more on the internet as an information source than other students (p = 0.015). The vast majority (92.8%; 373/402) of those interviewed indicated that they would not be vaccinated. The major concerns regarding vaccination had to do with the safety and side effects of the vaccine. Most of the participants (343/402, 85.3%) were carrying out one of prevention measures and the vast majority believed that hand washing, face mask and quarantina were effective measures for prevention. Conclusion: The participants had enough knowledge about H1N1 pandemic about the disease although there were still gaps and confusions in some areas. In the future, when planning management strategies regarding pandemics or outbreaks in higher education institutions, new strategies should be developed to promote positive health behaviour among university students compatible with the international guidelines. Main information source is mass media, so it seems that new policies must be developed to attract attention of students to use different and more scientific-based information sources.


Related Articles

  • Influenza.  // Weekly Epidemiological Record;11/4/2005, Vol. 80 Issue 44, p400 

    This article focuses on influenza activity in different countries. Localized influenza A activity remained low in Manitoba. During week 43, low influenza activity was detected in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia and the U.S.

  • Influenza.  // Weekly Epidemiological Record;3/31/2006, Vol. 81 Issue 13, p127 

    The article reports on the overall influenza activity during week 11 in some European and Asian countries. In Finland, localized influenza B activity was discovered in army garrisons. In Norway, influenza activity has been deteriorating since week 8 but stayed on widespread. In Belarus,...

  • Revisiting 1957-1958 influenza pandemic may provide clues to combating H1N1. Volansky, Rob // Infectious Diseases in Children;Sep2009, Vol. 22 Issue 9, p51 

    The article reports on the claims of researchers from the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, that revisiting the H2N2 Asian influenza outbreak in 1957 to 1958 could provide clues to combating H1N1.

  • Behavioural intentions in response to an influenza pandemic. Kok, Gerjo; Jonkers, Ruud; Gelissen, Roger; Meertens, Ree; Schaalma, Herman; de Zwart, Onno // BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p174 

    Background: Little is known regarding which behavioural responses can be expected if an influenza pandemic were to occur. Methods: A survey comprising questions based on risk perception theories, in particular PMT, was conducted with a Dutch sample. Results: Although fear that an influenza...

  • Influenza.  // Weekly Epidemiological Record;5/27/2005, Vol. 80 Issue 21, p191 

    The article focuses on influenza. Influenza activity worldwide remained similar to that of the previous few weeks, with the exception of China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, where medium-to-high levels of influenza activity continued. Activity was low in most parts of both the...

  • Economics of Neuraminidase Inhibitor Stockpiling for Pandemic Influenza, Singapore. Lee, Vernon J.; Kai Hong Phua; Chen, Mark I.; Chow, Angela; Ma, Stefan; Kee Tai Goh; Yee Sin Leo // Emerging Infectious Diseases;Jan2006, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p95 

    We compared strategies for stockpiling neuraminidase inhibitors to treat and prevent influenza in Singapore. Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses, with Monte Carlo simulations, were used to determine economic outcomes. A pandemic in a population of 4.2 million would result in an...

  • Go figure.  // McKnight's Long-Term Care News;May2010, Vol. 31 Issue 5, p12 

    The article presents statistics related to health including the number of Democrats members on the five-person National Labor Relations Board, the percentage of subjects with mobility problems in nursing care facilities, and the drop of flu cases in Ontario, Canada in 1997.

  • A comparison of the pathogenicity of avian and swine H5N1 influenza viruses in Indonesia. Takano, Ryo; Nidom, Chairul A.; Kiso, Maki; Muramoto, Yukiko; Yamada, Shinya; Shinya, Kyoko; Sakai-Tagawa, Yuko; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro // Archives of Virology;Apr2009, Vol. 154 Issue 4, p677 

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses are circulating in many countries. We recently discovered that these viruses have been transmitted to pigs on multiple occasions in Indonesia. To investigate whether avian H5N1 influenza viruses adapted to mammals through their introduction into...

  • ATTACK Of the Flu!  // Weekly Reader News - Edition 3;2/13/2004, Vol. 73 Issue 19, p2 

    Provides information on the spread of the flu or influenza in the U.S. Symptoms; Actions taken to keep the virus from spreading in schools; Prevention of the disease.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics