Adoption of preventive measures during and after the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus pandemic peak in Spain

Prev Med. 2011 Sep;53(3):203-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.06.018. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


Objective: This study describes the preventive measures adopted by the Spanish population towards 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus and their associated factors.

Method: An anonymous computer-assisted telephone interview survey was conducted in Spain in December 2009 and February 2010. Respondents were asked about their perceptions of influenza A (H1N1) virus and the preventive measures adopted. Factors associated with the adoption of preventive measures were assessed by logistic regression analyses.

Results: Out of 4892 households approached, 1627 valid responses were obtained (response rate of 33.3%). The most commonly adopted preventive measures were respiratory hygiene and hand washing. Factors independently associated with the adoption of the preventive measures recommended by the Spanish Ministry of Health were female gender, higher educational level, size of municipality of residence >50,000 inhabitants, high perceived susceptibility to infection, high perceived effectiveness of the measures and high perceived usefulness of the information provided by the government. The presence of school-aged children in household was associated with purchasing masks and hand sanitizer.

Conclusion: In addition to demographic factors, modifiable factors such as personal beliefs and expectations play a role in the adoption of preventive measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hand Disinfection
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preventive Medicine / methods
  • Preventive Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Public Health / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult