Risk perception has a significant impact on decisions people make when facing a threat: a mismatch between actual hazard and perceived risk can lead to inappropriate behaviours and suboptimal compliance to recommended public health measures. The present study was conducted in the aftermath of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak that occurred in 2019 in a primary school in Italy. The aim was to evaluate the impact of communication measures implemented by local health authorities (including face-to-face meetings between LHAs and the local population, weekly press announcements, implementation of a telephone hotline and of an information desk, and social media communication), on risk perception among parents of schoolchildren and school staff, and to identify factors related to a change in risk perception before and after the said activities. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to parents of schoolchildren (n = 846) and to school staff (n = 70). Participants were asked about the level of risk they had perceived at two distinct times: when they first became aware of the outbreak and following implementation of communication activities. A significant reduction of perceived risk was found in both groups (p < 0.001) following the communication activities. The largest reduction was found among participants who reported having appreciated the meetings with the LHA healthcare staff. Our findings suggest that keeping an open approach, explaining the actual threat to the population and adapting communication to different listening skills, are essential for health authorities to successfully manage a public health emergency.

Impact of Communication Measures Implemented During a School Tuberculosis Outbreak on Risk Perception among Parents and School Staff, Italy, 2019 / Gentili, Davide; Bardin, Andrea; Ros, Elisa; Piovesan, Cinzia; Ramigni, Mauro; Dalmanzio, Maria; Dettori, Marco; Filia, Antonietta; Cinquetti, Sandro. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1660-4601. - 17:3(2020), p. 911. [10.3390/ijerph17030911]

Impact of Communication Measures Implemented During a School Tuberculosis Outbreak on Risk Perception among Parents and School Staff, Italy, 2019

Gentili, Davide;Dettori, Marco;
2020

Abstract

Risk perception has a significant impact on decisions people make when facing a threat: a mismatch between actual hazard and perceived risk can lead to inappropriate behaviours and suboptimal compliance to recommended public health measures. The present study was conducted in the aftermath of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak that occurred in 2019 in a primary school in Italy. The aim was to evaluate the impact of communication measures implemented by local health authorities (including face-to-face meetings between LHAs and the local population, weekly press announcements, implementation of a telephone hotline and of an information desk, and social media communication), on risk perception among parents of schoolchildren and school staff, and to identify factors related to a change in risk perception before and after the said activities. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to parents of schoolchildren (n = 846) and to school staff (n = 70). Participants were asked about the level of risk they had perceived at two distinct times: when they first became aware of the outbreak and following implementation of communication activities. A significant reduction of perceived risk was found in both groups (p < 0.001) following the communication activities. The largest reduction was found among participants who reported having appreciated the meetings with the LHA healthcare staff. Our findings suggest that keeping an open approach, explaining the actual threat to the population and adapting communication to different listening skills, are essential for health authorities to successfully manage a public health emergency.
Impact of Communication Measures Implemented During a School Tuberculosis Outbreak on Risk Perception among Parents and School Staff, Italy, 2019 / Gentili, Davide; Bardin, Andrea; Ros, Elisa; Piovesan, Cinzia; Ramigni, Mauro; Dalmanzio, Maria; Dettori, Marco; Filia, Antonietta; Cinquetti, Sandro. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1660-4601. - 17:3(2020), p. 911. [10.3390/ijerph17030911]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11388/231810
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