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Preventive behaviors by the level of perceived infection sensitivity during the Korea outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2015

Lee, SY  | Yang, HJ  | Kim, G | Cheong, HK | Choi, BY
Epidemiology and health, 38. : e2016051-e2016051, 2016
Journal Title
Epidemiology and health
OBJECTIVES: This study was performed to investigate the relationship between community residents' infection sensitivity and their levels of preventive behaviors during the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in Korea. METHODS: Seven thousands two hundreds eighty one participants from nine areas in Gyeonggi-do including Pyeongtaek, the origin of the outbreak in 2015 agreed to participate in the survey and the data from 6,739 participants were included in the final analysis. The data on the perceived infection sensitivity were subjected to cluster analysis. The levels of stress, reliability/practice of preventive behaviors, hand washing practice and policy credibility during the outbreak period were analyzed for each cluster. RESULTS: Cluster analysis of infection sensitivity due to the MERS outbreak resulted in classification of participants into four groups: the non-sensitive group (14.5%), social concern group (17.4%), neutral group (29.1%), and overall sensitive group (39.0%). A logistic regression analysis found that the overall sensitive group with high sensitivity had higher stress levels (17.80: 95% confidence interval [CI], 13.77 to 23.00), higher reliability on preventive behaviors (5.81: 95% CI, 4.84 to 6.98), higher practice of preventive behaviors (4.53: 95% CI, 3.83 to 5.37) and higher practice of hand washing (2.71: 95% CI, 2.13 to 3.43) during the outbreak period, compared to the non-sensitive group. CONCLUSIONS: Infection sensitivity of community residents during the MERS outbreak correlated with gender, age, occupation, and health behaviors. When there is an outbreak in the community, there is need to maintain a certain level of sensitivity while reducing excessive stress, as well as promote the practice of preventive behaviors among local residents. In particular, target groups need to be notified and policies need to be established with a consideration of the socio-demographic characteristics of the community.

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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Preventive Medicine & Public Health
Ajou Authors
양, 희정  |  이, 순영
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