Paper by Nathan Walter, graduate of the MA program, Anat Gesser-Edelsburg and Manfred Green has been accepted for publication in American Journal of Infection Control

The paper by Nathan Walter, Anat Gesser-Edelsburg and Mafred Green, "Healthcare workers as part of the system or part of the public:Ambivalent risk perception in healthcare workers", has been accepted for publication in American Journal of Infection Control.

 

 

Healthcare workers as part of the system or part of the public: 

 

Ambivalent risk perception in healthcare workers

 

Abstract

 

Background: The emergence of the Avian Influenza A (H7N9) in China in 2013 illustrates the importance of healthcare professionals as a mediating channel between health agencies and the public. This study examines their risk perceptions considering their unique positioning as representing the healthcare system and yet also part of the public, hence a risk group. Recent studies examined the role of health professionals’ personal risk perceptions and attitudes regarding compliance of the general public with vaccination. This study examines how risk perception affects their risk analysis.

 

Methods: A comparative online survey using Google Docs of Israeli health professionals and the Israeli general public (N=240).

 

Results: When risk perception is relatively low, healthcare professionals tend to base their attitudes about vaccines on analytical knowledge, whereas in situations with high risk perception, the results did not indicate any significant difference between Israeli health professionals and the Israeli general public, hence both groups base their attitudes more on emotions and personal experience than analytical knowledge.

 

Conclusions: Public health organizations must consider the fact that health professionals are a group that cannot be automatically treated as an extension of the organization. When the risk is tangible and relevant, healthcare workers behave and act like everybody else. This study contributes to understanding healthcare professionals’ perceptions about vaccines and thinking processes underlying such perceptions. 

 

 

Department of Communication, University of Haifa | Department address: Room 8034, Rabin Building, University of Haifa, 199 Aba Khoushy Ave., Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905 | Phone: 04-8249283 | Fax: 04-8249120 | e-mail: nnathan@univ.haifa.ac.il |

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