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Effective health messages may yield vaccine compliance among ER workers
Date:6/17/2008

said they felt it would be their duty to get vaccinated, with or without a recommendation.

"States that crafted messages around the endorsement of a trusted source were able to get more healthcare workers vaccinated," Bass said. "But we see that the message needs to shift if an outbreak is imminent: that workers need the vaccination to stay healthy and alive."

For this study, the researchers first asked 73 emergency room workers at hospitals in the Philadelphia area to rate on a scale of 1�� the importance of various aspects of the smallpox vaccination in four separate scenarios: Today, with no smallpox outbreak4; if another terrorist attack happened in the United States; if a smallpox outbreak occurred somewhere in the United States; and if a smallpox outbreak occurred in the Philadelphia area.

Data from the surveys was then used to create the perceptual maps, three-dimensional models of respondents' attitudes, toward getting vaccinated. This technique is often used by marketers and politicians to determine whether a consumer will buy a product or vote for a candidate. For this study, researchers were able to see significant shifts in attitude under increasingly higher levels of threat.

"This data will help public health officials craft effective messages according to specific scenarios. These messages can then be used in preparation for an outbreak, so in case it does happen, we won't be caught off guard," Bass said. "More importantly, these results have serious implications for how messages are crafted in the event a pandemic such as avian flu or SARS occurs. The circumstances under which these events occur dictate how to address the concerns of healthcare workers or the general public."


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Contact: Renee Cree
renee.cree@temple.edu
215-707-1583
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

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