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D1.7 - Population Behaviour in Epidemics Summary Report

on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:00

The document is the conclusive report of the first Work Package Population Behaviour during epidemics. It summarizes the main results obtained in the six previous reports:

  • Systematic review of studies addressing population behaviours during infectious outbreaks and review of outbreak communication in 2009 pandemic. Responsible  Partner: Istituto Superiore di Sanità - ISS (Italy);
  • Review of Crisis Communications. Responsible Partner: CedarThreeLimited - CEDAR3 (UK)
  • Segmentation and Specific Communication Needs of Target Groups. Responsible Partner: University of Haifa - HU (Israel)
  • Report on Vaccine Acceptance/Refusal and Resistance to Vaccination. Responsible Partner: National Disaster Life Support Foundation INC -NDLS (USA);
  • Report on Narratives and Urban Myths. Responsible Partner: Centre for Science, Society and Citizenship - CSSC (Italy)
  • Human Rights, Stigmatization and Risk of Discrimination Against Specific Population Segments and Target Groups. Responsible Partner: Vrije Universiteit Brussel - VUB (Belgium)

The report begins with the analysis of the main outbreak communication components and issues with regard to key concepts of crisis management and components of outbreak communication: sources, media, type, timing, trust building and public acceptance, stakeholders, coordination and leadership. It also takes into account several critical elements that might have negative effects on communication efficacy: human rights, stigmatization and the risk of discrimination; narratives and urban myths around epidemics, particularly related to the antivaccination movements and strategies fuelling the anti-vaccination discourse.

Then, the report goes on providing an epidemiological analysis of the compliance with interventions – particularly vaccinations and non-pharmacological interventions – aimed to prevention and containment of epidemics. The report also analyses those factors that may affect the vaccination compliance among the general population and target groups, and proposes strategies to increase population’s inclination towards vaccination.

The final chapter presents the lessons learnt from past experience and identify those areas where it would be possible to intervene to improve the efficacy.

Read the document online:
D1.7 - Population Behaviour in Epidemics Summary Report