Perceived Stakeholder Characteristics and Protective Action for Influenza Emergencies: A Comparative Study of Respondents in the United States and China

March 2018 (VOL. 36, NO. 1)

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This study was designed to determine if respondents in the United States (Texas State) and China (Anhui province) differed in their perceptions of three stakeholder types (authorities, news media, and peers) with respect to three stakeholder characteristics (expertise, trustworthiness, and protection responsibility) and if these stakeholder perceptions were significantly correlated with protective actions for influenza. Both Texas and Anhui respondents rated expertise, trustworthiness, and protection responsibility as highest for public health authorities and lowest for Internet/social media. However, the differences between ratings for authorities and peers were greater in Texas than in Anhui and the correlations of stakeholder characteristics with protective action were quite different between Texas and Anhui. These results suggest that public health authorities should recognize that there are differences across countries in people’s perceptions of authorities, news media and peers. These differences are important because people’s perceptions of different stakeholders are significantly correlated with their protective actions in response to pandemic influenza.