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Swine Flu in College: Early Campus Response to Outbreak Control Measures

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Objectives: To describe student and faculty attitudes towards and adherence to nonpharmaceutical control measures during the first-known university outbreak of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1). Methods: Preferred information sources, control measure adherence and likelihood of adherence during future out-breaks, and perceived illness risk, were explored through focus groups and patient interviews. Results: We conducted 7 focus groups (N=48) and 9 patient inter- views. Measures (eg, hand hygiene, self-isolation while ill) were initially heeded. Limited information regarding A(H1N1) pdm09, insufficient understanding of university decisions, and perceived university alert overuse led to reports that future outbreaks would be regarded less seriously. Conclusions: Reported concern and commitment to recommendations decreased rapidly. Initial university messaging and response was critical in shaping participants' later perceptions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2014

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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