Nothing to sneeze at – uptake of protective measures against an influenza pandemic by people with schizophrenia: willingness and perceived barriers

Paul A. Maguire*, Rebecca E. Reay, Jeffrey C.L. Looi

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives: To examine willingness to adopt protective behaviours, and perceived barriers, during a pandemic influenza, in people with schizophrenia. Methods: A cross-sectional study using a questionnaire was conducted exploring the responses of 71 adults with schizophrenia and 238 adults without schizophrenia attending a general practice setting, regarding willingness and perceived barriers to adopting protective measures against the 2009 swine influenza pandemic in Australia. Results: The majority of participants with schizophrenia reported that they would be at least moderately willing to be vaccinated (74.2%), isolate themselves (73.2%), wear a face mask (54.9%) and increase hand washing (88.6%). However, 71.8% were concerned about “catching” flu from vaccination. Predictors of willingness to adopt protective actions included self-efficacy (vaccination, face mask, isolation), perceived likelihood of contracting swine flu (vaccination), educational status (face mask) and perceived overall risk from swine flu (face mask). Key modifiable perceived barriers to adopting protective measures were identified, including cost and need for transport assistance for vaccination. Conclusions: People with schizophrenia report being generally willing to adopt protective measures, especially increased hand washing, during a pandemic influenza. Understanding perceived barriers may enable development of effective interventions to increase uptake of protective measures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-178
    Number of pages8
    JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
    Volume27
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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