Determinants of public phobia about infectious diseases in South Korea

Effect of health communication and gender difference

Minsoo Jung, Mankyu Choi, Tae Ro Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the individual and social determinants of the public's phobia of infectious diseases in South Korea, where collective action was recently fueled by the public phobia over mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE]). Gender-specific multivariate regression was used to compare the public perception of BSE and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The analysis results differentiated between the determinants of the phobia for the 2 diseases, BSE and HPAI (N = 1002). As with HIV/AIDS and leprosy, the public fear of HPAI was expressed as a disease phobia that seeks to ensure the social exclusion of infection sources, whereas the fear of BSE was influenced by social and communication factors. Therefore, BSE, unlike previous HPAI, can be rapidly amplified amid the growing distrust in health communication, in which case the social determinants of disease phobia are associated with communicator trust, social values, and political attitude toward diseases rather than disease perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)NP833-NP843
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 4

Fingerprint

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
Health Communication
Republic of Korea
Phobic Disorders
Communicable Diseases
Influenza in Birds
Fear
Social Values
Leprosy
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Communication
HIV
Infection

Keywords

  • bovine spongiform encephalopathy
  • disease phobia
  • health communication
  • highly pathogenic avian influenza
  • mass media
  • risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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abstract = "This study investigated the individual and social determinants of the public's phobia of infectious diseases in South Korea, where collective action was recently fueled by the public phobia over mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE]). Gender-specific multivariate regression was used to compare the public perception of BSE and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The analysis results differentiated between the determinants of the phobia for the 2 diseases, BSE and HPAI (N = 1002). As with HIV/AIDS and leprosy, the public fear of HPAI was expressed as a disease phobia that seeks to ensure the social exclusion of infection sources, whereas the fear of BSE was influenced by social and communication factors. Therefore, BSE, unlike previous HPAI, can be rapidly amplified amid the growing distrust in health communication, in which case the social determinants of disease phobia are associated with communicator trust, social values, and political attitude toward diseases rather than disease perception.",
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