Public support for government actions during a flu pandemic: lessons learned from a statewide survey. Academic Article uri icon


  • To better inform public health officials during a flu pandemic, this study analyzes a representative statewide telephone survey among 1,602 adults to examine knowledge and perceptions about a flu pandemic, trust in government, and support for government actions in a flu pandemic. The findings show citizens do not understand what avian/bird flu is and how it evolves into a pandemic. They also seem to have divergent perceptions regarding the susceptibility and severity of a flu pandemic. More than half of the respondents trust the government to handle a flu pandemic and show strong support for many proposed government actions in a pandemic, except for offering non-fully approved drugs. The findings suggest public health and risk communicators should reinforce support for controversial actions through trust building and personalization of risks rather than mere education or publicity. Public education and engagement should also begin pre-pandemic and continue throughout all phases of the event.

published proceedings

  • Health Promot Pract

altmetric score

  • 2.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Paek, H., Hilyard, K., Freimuth, V. S., Barge, J. K., & Mindlin, M.

citation count

  • 79

complete list of authors

  • Paek, Hye-Jin||Hilyard, Karen||Freimuth, Vicki S||Barge, J Kevin||Mindlin, Michele

publication date

  • October 2008