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Physicians are Less Concerned about H1N1 Swine Flu

-- Docs say top information sources regarding H1N1 are government agencies and media --

FLEMINGTON, N.J., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from a new national study among 688 physicians revealed that over the past few weeks, doctors continue to be less concerned about the impact that the H1N1 swine flu will have on themselves and their families.

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The study was conducted last night by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion (MCIPO), as part of a series of studies which were conducted on April 27, and May 6, to obtain physicians' perceptions of the H1N1 virus. The studies are being conducted on a weekly basis to measure physicians' perceptions regarding their personal and professional concerns. To view detailed results go to: or

Results from the study on April 27, revealed that 21% of physicians reported that they were "Concerned" or "Extremely Concerned", compared to this week's study, in which 9% of physicians indicated that they were "Concerned" or "Extremely Concerned." Physicians also reported that there is less risk that the virus could result in a catastrophic pandemic.

There was a slight increase in the number of physicians who reported that they have not changed their behavior or life style, with 61% indicating they have not changed their behavior, compared to 56% in the May 6 study. When asked what top three sources they use to obtain information on H1N1 swine flu, government agency communications (79%) was rated number one, followed by the news media (73%) and medical associations (60%), similar to the previous study.

Among the findings:

"Please indicate how you have changed your behavior or life style since becoming aware of the H1N1 swine flu. Check all that apply."

                                                      Week 2          Week 3
                                                     (5/6/09)       (5/21/09)
                                                       Total           Total

    Decreased air travel                                  7%              6%
    Decreased dining out                                  5%              4%
    Avoid going to crowded events                        13%             10%
    Wash hands more frequently                           40%             35%
    Start wearing protective mask                         4%              3%
    Spend more time at home                               6%              6%
    Other changes of behaviors                            2%              2%
    None - I have not changed any of my
     behavior or life style                              56%             61%

Please indicate the level of risk that the H1N1 swine flu could result in a catastrophic pandemic. Use a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 indicates "No Risk" and 7 indicates "Extremely High Risk."

                                      Week 1         Week 2         Week 3
                                      (4/27)        (5/6/09)      (5/21/09)

    1 - No Risk                          1%             2%             3%
    2 - Low Risk                        13%            27%            26%
    Bottom 2                            14%            30%            29%
    3 - Somewhat Low Risk               14%            18%            17%
    4 - Neither At Risk or
         Not At Risk                     9%            12%            14%
    5 - Somewhat At Risk                49%            31%            33%
    Top 2                               14%             9%             8%
    6 - High Risk                       12%             7%             7%
    7 - Extremely High Risk              2%             1%             1%
    MEAN                               4.4            3.7            3.7
                                    (Neither)      (Neutral)      (Neutral)

Please indicate your level of concern regarding the degree of the impact that the H1N1 swine flu epidemic will have on you and your family. Use a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 indicates "Not At All Concerned" and 7 indicates "Extremely Concerned."

                                      Week 1         Week 2          Week 3
                                      (4/27)        (5/6/09)       (5/21/09)

    1 - Not At All Concerned             3%             6%             6%
    2 - Not Concerned                   12%            21%            22%
    Bottom 2                            15%            27%            28%
    3 - Somewhat Not Concerned          11%            19%            19%
    4 - Neutral                         12%            13%            14%
    5 - Somewhat Concerned              41%            31%            30%
    Top 2                               21%            10%             9%
    6 - Concerned                       18%             9%             8%
    7 - Extremely Concerned              4%             1%             1%
    MEAN                               4.4            3.8             3.7
                                    (Neutral)      (Neutral)       (Neutral)

HCD Research is a communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ. The company's services include traditional and web-based marketing and communications research. For additional information on HCD Research, access the company's web site at or call 908-788-9393. Headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, MCIPO is a respected source of public opinion data on local, state and national issues. For additional information on Muhlenberg College, go to

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