Title

Smallpox related knowledge and beliefs among recent college graduates

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2006

Publication Title

Journal of American College Health

Volume

55

Issue

3

First page number:

181

Last page number:

183

Abstract

Recent world events have increased concern and preparations for possible bioterror events. Despite worldwide efforts to limit access to bio-weapons, smallpox is still considered a potential bioterror threat. Americans' understanding of smallpox could prevent panic and enhance the willingness of citizens to receive vaccinations.

OBJECTIVE:

The authors' purpose in this study was to describe graduating college students' levels of smallpox-related knowledge. METHOD SUMMARY: Participants at a graduation ceremony--mostly female, with a mean age of 28.4+/-8.1 years--were handed a 35-item questionnaire that assessed smallpox knowledge and whether respondents would submit to vaccination under hypothetical circumstances.

RESULTS:

The convenience sample was ignorant of numerous facts about smallpox and unaware of government efforts to prepare for an attack, answering an average of 3.8 out of 10 items correctly.

CONCLUSION:

These findings raise concern because, in a smallpox event, prompt responses to directives of public health officials will be necessary to maximize the effectiveness of response plans.

Keywords

Adolescent; Adult; Bioterrorism; Bioterrorism--Health aspects; Bioterrorism—Prevention; College students; Female; Health attitudes; Health Knowledge; Attitudes; Practice; Humans; Male; Men; Older people; Questionnaires; Smallpox; Smallpox—Vaccination; Smallpox vaccine; Southwestern United States; Students; Teenagers; United States--Southwestern States; Universities; Universities and colleges; Vaccination; Vaccination of children; Vaccines; Women

Disciplines

Community-Based Research | Community Health | Diseases | Public Health

Language

English

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

Identifier

DOI: 10.3200/JACH.55.3.181-183

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