Published on October 3, 2007
Pandemic Influenza and the Public: Survey Findings: Pandemic Influenza and the Public: Survey Findings Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D. John M. Benson, M.A. Kathleen J. Weldon Harvard School of Public Health Melissa J. Herrmann, M.A. ICR/International Communications Research Presented at the Institute of Medicine on October 26, 2006 Harvard School of Public Health Project on the Public and Biological Security Methodology: Methodology Telephone survey conducted by ICR/International Communications Research of Media (PA) In field September 28 - October 5, 2006. Representative national sample of 1,697 adults age 18 and over Over-sample of adults who had children under age 18 in their households (n= 821). Weighted to its actual proportion (38%) of the total adult population. Factuals: Factuals Employed full-time 50% Employed part-time 13% Not employed 36% Ever work from home, 27% employed respondents Have children in household 38% 13-17 16% 5-12 22% Under 5 14% Only one adult in HH 26% 2 or more adults in HH 74% Disabled in HH 30% Self 21% Other HH member 16% Elderly in HH 22% Self 16% Other HH member 12% Pregnant HH member 3% Slide4: Know what “pandemic flu” means Familiarity with Term “Pandemic Flu” % saying they… Have heard of it/ don’t know what it means Have never heard of term Cooperation: Cooperation Scenario: Scenario Now I want to ask you some questions about a possible outbreak in the U.S. of pandemic flu, a new type of flu that spreads rapidly among humans and causes severe illness. Currently there have not been any cases of pandemic flu in the U.S. However, imagine that there was a severe outbreak in the U.S. and possibly in your community and a lot of people were getting very sick from the flu and the flu was spreading rapidly from person to person. Slide7: Willingness to Cooperate with Public Health Officials (I) Would follow recommendations to do following for one month... Avoid air travel Avoid public events Avoid malls/dept stores Limit use of public transport Cancel non-critical MD appts Reduce contact with people outside household Avoid church services Postpone family events Slide8: Would stay in town or city during serious outbreak if officials recommended Likely Not likely If public health officials told you to stay at home during an outbreak, but employer said to come to work… Would stay at home Would go to work Willingness to Cooperate with Public Health Officials (II) Slide9: Willingness to Follow Public Health Recommendations to Stay at Home % saying they would stay at home away from others for 7 -10 days if had pandemic flu % saying they and all members of household would stay at home for 7 -10 days if one member of household had flu Home: Home Slide11: Home Care for Sick in a Severe Pandemic Able to take care of sick household member at home for 7-10 days If stayed home with sick household member, worried would get sick yourself Have someone who could care for you at home if you were sick Slide12: No One to Care for You If Sick % saying they have no one to take care of them at home if they were sick for 7-10 days Slide13: No One to Care for You If Sick, by Income % saying they have no one to take care of them at home if they were sick for 7-10 days Slide14: Likelihood of Problems with Staying at Home % saying likely that they or a household member would have problem if had to stay at home for 7-10 days… Lose pay and have money problems Have hard time being stuck at home Unable to get baby formula/diapers1 Unable to get health care/Rx drugs Unable to get care for disabled household member2 Unable to get care for older person in household3 Have difficulty taking care of children under age 54 Lose job or business 1Among those who have major responsibility for children age 0-2 in household; 2Among those in households with disabled person; 3Among those in households with person age 65+; 4Among those with major responsibility for children under age 5 in household. Slide15: Likelihood of Losing Job or Business If Had to Stay at Home for 7-10 Days % saying it is likely they or a household member would lose job or business School Closings: School Closings Slide17: School Closings If recommended by health officials, could keep children from taking public transportation, going to public events and gathering outside home while schools closed for 3 months Would need help with problems of having children at home Family Among those who would need a lot or some help, would rely most on… Friends Outside agencies A lot/some Only a little/None % of those with responsibility for children age 5-17 Slide18: School Closings and Employment % of those with responsibility for children under age 5 in day care or age 5-17 in households with at least one employed adult saying would be able to do the following if schools/daycare closed: Arrange care for children so that at least 1 adult in household could work if schools/daycare closed for 1 month Arrange care for children so that at least 1 adult in household could work if schools/daycare closed for 3 months At least one employed adult would have to stay home from work Slide19: School Closings and Child Care If recommended schools/daycare closed for one month, could arrange care for children so that at least one adult could go to work Who would provide care Children would take care of themselves Combination Babysitter or nanny Self / family member in home % of those with responsibility for children under age 5 in daycare or age 5-17 Family member who lives outside home Slide20: School Lunches Get free breakfast or lunch at school or daycare If schools were closed for three months, how much of a problem would it be that these children could not get these meals Major problem % of those with responsibility for children under age 5 in daycare or age 5-17 Minor problem Not a problem Work: Work Slide22: Financial Problems in a Severe Pandemic % of employed saying would have serious financial problem if had to miss work for… 7-10 days 3 months 1 month Slide23: Financial Problems in a Severe Pandemic, by Income % of employed saying would have serious financial problem if had to miss work for… 3 months 1 month 7-10 days Slide24: Workplace Workplace has plan for outbreak of pandemic flu Workplace would NOT shut down if public health officials recommended businesses in community do so Worried employer would make them go to work if sick % of employed saying… If had to stay home from work, think they would still get paid Slide25: Working from Home % of employed saying… Would be able to work from home for one month Would be able to work from home and care for sick household member for 7 to 10 days Would be able to work from home and care for children for one month1 1Among those who have major responsibility for children under age 5 in daycare or age 5-17 in household. Slide26: Working from Home, by Income % of employed saying would be able to work from home for at least one month Slide27: Not Able to Miss Work to Care for Sick Household Member, by Income % of employed saying would NOT be able to miss work for 7-10 days Funding: Funding The Harvard School of Public Health Project on the Public and Biological Security is funded by a grant from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), which receives support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HSPH provides ASTHO and the CDC with technical assistance for public health communication by monitoring the response of the general public to public health threats.