Document Detail

Why the French did not choose to panic: a dynamic analysis of the public response to the influenza pandemic.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23030815     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
To understand the French public's response to the 2009 pandemic A/H1N1 influenza health threat a sequence analysis framework has been employed mobilising different theoretical strands such as innovations diffusion theory, surprise theory and social representation theory. These tend to suggest that disease episodes, public health policy and the public's response should be considered within a larger socio-cognitive frame incorporating representations anchored by prior disease episodes and campaigns. It is suggested in this article that the public's response was greatly influenced by the pervasive anchoring of the social representations of the pandemic threat to the 1918 Spanish flu in the lay and scientific media. These representations were eventually seen not to match the reality of the disease and consequently the French public did not panic during the 2009 pandemic. This hypothesis has been tested empirically by examining retrospective media, bibliographical data and an analysis of risk perception carried out through three cross-sectional studies prior to and during the pandemic episode and one month after the launch of the vaccination campaign. These findings suggest that alarmist framings of health threats may be counterproductive since they may reduce the capacity of public health organisations to mobilise the public in the case of more serious emerging disease.
William Sherlaw; Jocelyn Raude
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-3
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sociology of health & illness     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1467-9566     ISO Abbreviation:  Sociol Health Illn     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-3     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8205036     Medline TA:  Sociol Health Illn     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2012 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Department of International Relations, EHESP School of Public Health, Rennes, France Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences, EHESP School of Public Health, Rennes, France.
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