Australas Psychiatry 2019 Apr 15:1039856219839467. Epub 2019 Apr 15.
Associate Professor and Acting Head, Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Australian National University Medical School, Woden, ACT, and; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC, and; Director, Research Centre for the Neurosciences of Ageing, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Objective: To explore the role of affect in risk perception and intention to adopt protective measures against pandemic swine influenza in people with schizophrenia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted exploring the responses of 71 adults with schizophrenia and 238 adults attending general practice settings without schizophrenia. Participants completed a questionnaire that included items relating to: self-predicted affect (affective forecast) were they to contract swine influenza; perceived risk from swine influenza; and willingness to adopt protective measures against swine influenza. The 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) and a single-item Self-Rated Health Question (SRHQ) were also included as measures.
Results: In people with schizophrenia, higher levels of predicted fear were associated with increased likelihood of perceived substantive risk from swine influenza and self-reported willingness to adopt protective measures against it. However, higher K10 anxiety subscale scores, reflecting greater concurrent anxiety, were associated with reduced likelihood of perceived substantive risk from swine influenza in people with schizophrenia.
Conclusion: Affect appears to play a role in risk perception of influenza and willingness to take protective measures against it in people with schizophrenia.