Swine flu (H1N1) reached pandemic proportions in 2009, yet ambivalence was met concerning intentions to be vaccinated. The present investigation determined predictors of perceived H1N1 contraction risk and vaccination intentions among Canadian adults (N = 1,027) responding to an online questionnaire. The relatively low rate of vaccination intent (30.12%, and 34.99% being unsure of their intent) was related to a sense of invulnerability regarding illness contraction and symptom severity. Most individuals were skeptical that H1N1 would be widespread, believing that less than 10% of the population would contract H1N1. Yet, they also indicated that their attitudes would change once a single person they knew contracted the illness. Also, worry regarding H1N1 was related to self-contraction risk and odds of individuals seeking vaccination. Moreover, vaccination intent was related to the perception that the threat was not particularly great, mistrust of the media to provide accurate information regarding H1N1, and whether individuals endorsed problem-focused versus avoidant coping strategies. Given the role media plays in public perceptions related to a health crisis, trust in this outlet and credibility regarding the threat are necessary for adherence to recommended measures to minimize health risk.
The acceptance and support of breastfeeding in public venues can influence breastfeeding practices and, ultimately, the health of the population.
The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether posters targeted at the general public could improve acceptability of breastfeeding in public places.
A convenience sample of 255 participants was surveyed at shopping centers in 2 rural communities of Newfoundland and Labrador. Experimentally, questions were posed to 117 participants pre- and post-exposure to 2 specific posters designed to promote public acceptance of breastfeeding in public.
Initially, we surveyed that only 51.9% of participants indicated that they were comfortable with a woman breastfeeding anywhere in public. However, context played a role, whereby a doctor's office (84.5%) or park (81.4%) were the most acceptable public places for breastfeeding, but least acceptable was a business office environment (66.7%). Of participants, 35.4% indicated previously viewing specific posters. We used a visual analog scale to test poster viewing on the acceptability of public breastfeeding in the context of a doctor's office and a restaurant. Results of pre- versus post-viewing of the promotional posters indicated significant improvements in both scenarios: in a doctor's office (P = .035) and in a restaurant (P = .021).
Nearly 50% of the surveyed population indicated discomfort with a mother breastfeeding in public. Both cross-sectional and interventional evidence showed that posters significantly improved the reported level of comfort toward seeing breastfeeding in public.
The aim of this study was, firstly, to determine what methods of delivering fluorides might be acceptable to Finnish municipalities and, secondly, to investigate which characteristics of the municipalities best explain the variation in acceptability of fluorides. A sample, composed of 46 Finnish municipalities and representing the communes according to number of inhabitants was drawn and a mail survey sent to decision-makers (n = 1922). In this survey we assessed the characteristics of each commune and its decision-makers and asked how acceptable various methods of fluoride delivery were. The acceptability of the various methods was: toothpaste 95%, gels and varnishes 81%, rinses 63%, salt 48%, piped water 33%, and milk 11%. In industrialized communes these methods of delivery were usually slightly better accepted than in non-industrialized areas. Acceptability of fluorides seemed to differ in the various regions of Finland, Uusimaa region being the most liberal towards use of fluorides. Members of the labour parties seemed to accept piped water containing fluoride and fluoridated milk significantly more often than did conservatives. Among decision-makers, the various methods of delivery were best accepted by dentists, physicians and members of health councils.
To explore convergence and divergence in ethical stances of public health and of members of the population regarding acceptability of harm reduction interventions, in particular needle exchange programs.
Forty-nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with French-speaking residents of Quebec City. Content analysis was done to explore the views of the respondents with regard to injection drug users (IDUs) and interventions addressed to them, as well as Quebec policies on harm reduction.
Four main categories of social representations about IDUs have emerged from the discourses of the respondents. IDU were represented as: suffering from a disease (n = 17); victim of a situation that they could not control (n = 14); having chosen to use drugs (n = 12); or delinquent people (n = 6). Those social representations were associated with different ethical stances regarding acceptability of harm reduction interventions. Main divergences between respondents' ethical positions on harm reduction and public health discourses were related to the value of tolerance and its limits.
The Quebec City population interviewed in this study had a high level of tolerance regarding needle distribution to drug addicts. Applied ethics could be a useful way to understand citizens' interpretation of public health interventions.
The primary objective of this study was to determine the acceptability of various driving restrictions to older drivers. Licensed drivers aged 65 years or more living in the community in the Ottawa, Ontario area were recruited by means of posters and advertisements in regional and local newspapers. We recruited 86 subjects, 56 men and 30 women with a mean age of 75 years (50 urban and 36 rural residents). The subjects completed a one-hour interview with one of two trained study nurses during which their driving restriction preferences (utilities) were determined using a modified standard gamble technique. Highly endorsed restrictions included regular assessment by the Ministry of Transportation (mean utility 0.94), driving with vehicle adaptations (0.94) and daytime driving only (0.93). Less acceptable restrictions included avoidance of roads with a speed limit greater than 60 km/h (0.50), limitation of destinations (0.45), driving only within a 10-km radius of home (0.45) and requirement of another licensed driver in the vehicle (0.42). Our subjects' preferences appeared to be inversely related to the impact on autonomy and the ability to access the community. These findings may be useful to motor transport administrators in designing effective restricted licensing programs that are acceptable to older drivers.
The 1984 Canada Health Act (CHA) is the major piece of Federal legislation that governs health care accessibility in the provinces and territories. According to the CHA, all provinces and territories in Canada must uphold five principles in order to receive federal funding for health care (universality, comprehensiveness, portability, public administration, and accessibility). In Canada, there are competing views among policy makers and consumers about how the CHA's principle of accessibility should be defined, interpreted and used in delivering health care. During the 1990s, the health care perceptions of Canadians and their health care behaviours were measured through both public opinion polls and Statistics Canada's National Population Health Survey (NPHS). The goal of this paper is to examine perceptions of accessibility in public opinion polls and actual accessibility as measured through the NPHS. Public opinion polls demonstrate that while Canadians want to preserve the principles of the CHA, a majority of Canadians are losing confidence in their health care system. In contrast, the results from the NPHS reveal that only 6% of Canadians aged 25 years and older have experienced accessibility problems. Among those who report access problems, the barriers to accessibility are linked to specific socio-economic, socio-demographic and health characteristics of individuals. We discuss these findings in the context of the current debates surrounding accessibility within the CHA and the Canadian health care system.