Monitoring Public Perception of Health Risks in Brazil and Italy: Cross-Cultural Research on the Risk Perception of Choking in Children

Children (Basel). 2021 Jun 24;8(7):541. doi: 10.3390/children8070541.


One of the most relevant public health issues among pediatric injuries concerns foreign body (FB) aspiration. The risk perception of choking hazards (CH) and risk perception, in general, are complex multifactorial problems that play a significant role in defining protective behavior. Risk prevention policies should take this aspect into account. A lack of scientific knowledge of FB injury risk perception may be evidenced in Brazil and other newly developed countries. This study aims to characterize the differences and peculiarities in risk perception of CH between Italian and Brazilian populations. The risk perception among adults in Italy and Brazil between September and October 2017 was investigated in a survey. A Multiple Correspondence Analysis was carried out to identify the latent components characterizing the risk perception in Italian and Brazilian population samples. The most relevant dimension characterizing risk perception is the "Professional-educational status and the related perception of Risk" (13% of factorial inertia). The Italians identify batteries and magnets as the most dangerous choking risks (20% of responses). On the other hand, Brazilian people, mainly manual laborers (22%) with secondary or primary education (94%), perceive coins as the most dangerous items (30% of responses, p < 0.001). Socio-economic issues characterize the subjective risk perception of Italian and Brazilian survey respondents. In this framework, data-driven prevention strategies could be helpful to tailor intervention strategies to the cultural context to which they are addressed.

Keywords: (accidental) foreign body injuries/object injuries; cross-cultural study; hazard-choking.