A new strain of the H1N1 subtype of influenza A virus resulted in a pandemic outbreak. In South Korea, cases of pandemic influenza have increased. Therefore, we explored perception or preventive behaviors for this virus in hospital employees and outpatients.
Data was collected from hospital employees and outpatients at three university hospitals located in Daegu, Gyeongju in South Korea between the 21st and 30th of September, 2009 using a self-administrated questionnaire. We estimated perception by components of The Health Belief Model (HBM), preventive behaviors consisted of avoidance behaviors, and the recommended behaviors by the Korea Center of Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Desire for vaccination was identified.
The 1,837 participants comprised hospital employees (n = 880, 47.9%) and outpatients (n = 957, 52.1%). Of all hospital employees, 491 (55.8%) and 708 (80.5%) perceived susceptibility of the pandemic influenza and benefits of the preventive behaviors, respectively. Among all outpatients, 490 (51.2%) and 651 (68.0%) perceived susceptibility of the pandemic influenza and benefits of the preventive behaviors, respectively. Recommended preventative behaviors were adopted by 674 (76.6%) of hospital employees and 631 (65.9%) of outpatients. Vaccination was desired by 479 (54.4%) of hospital employees and 484 (50.6%) of outpatients. Factors influencing preventative behaviors included gender, economic status (for hospital employees) and educational level (for outpatients). All HBM components except perception of barriers were associated with the preventive behaviors in both groups.