Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Assessing Immunization-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, Behaviors, and Practices (KABP) As They Relate to Perceived Preparedness for Disasters

Andrea J. Soriano1, Maria I. Fernandez1, Dulmini Kodagoda1, Rachel Golden2, Nidhi M. Nakra3, and Nancy Halpern Ibrahim4. (1) Immunization Program, Department of Public Health Los Angeles County, 695 S. Vermont Ave. 14th Floor, Los Angeles, CA, USA, (2) Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Programs, Department of Public Health Los Angeles County, 600 S. Commonwealth, Ste. 800, Los Angeles, CA, USA, (3) Immunization Services Division, Program Operations Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3530 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA, USA, (4) Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, 2337 S. Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to discuss whether preventive attitudes related to immunizations translate into being prepared for catastrophic natural or man-made disasters.

The 2005 Los Angeles County (LAC) Health Survey identified families with children, individuals who are poor or on public assistance, and those with language limitations as being at increased risk during disasters. Characteristics that render communities vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases are similar to those that contribute to populations being at risk during disasters.

Identify relationships between immunization-related KABP/coverage levels and perceived preparedness for disasters within families.

A home-based, interviewer-administered questionnaire, delivered to caregivers of 2-year-old children in five LAC zip codes. Immunization data was abstracted from immunization cards or medical records.

Of 429 caregivers contacted, 411 were surveyed (96% response rate) and 397 were eligible for analysis. Immunization coverage at age 24 months (4:3:1:3:3 series) was 79%. Of participants, 99% stated it was important for households to be prepared for emergencies and 56% reported having 4-6 items necessary to be prepared for an emergency in their households. Of caregivers who did not complete high school (n=394), 56% reported they were prepared for a disaster, compared to 67% who completed high school. Of caregivers whose children were up-to-date (n=390), 56% reported being prepared for a disaster. Of caregivers whose children were not up-to-date, 69% indicated that they were prepared. Among caregivers who agreed that immunizations protect the community (n=395), 59% reported being prepared for a disaster, compared to 22% who did not know if immunizations protect the community.

Inconsistent patterns were noted between immunization beliefs and perceived preparedness for disasters. Immunization coverage was not positively associated with perceived preparedness. Results suggest that immunization-related behaviors may not necessarily transfer to other public health issues within a population.