Perception of infection risk – Interesting Differences

  Published: 06.03.06 Updated: 06.03.2006 13:06:49

Øivind Larsen

Univeristy of Oslo

As a spinoff of the Task Force efforts against communicable diseases in the Baltic region, an initiative has been taken to explore the obvious differences in the perception of infection risk. How the threat of infection is looked upon by the general population, by patients, and by health personnel is crucial for the way the problem should be handled.

On March 24, 2001 a group consisting of general medical practitioners, epidemiologists, historians and other experts gathered in the Medical Museum in Riga in order to set up a research programme to explore cultural differences in risk assessment, and achieve results that can be transformed into practical work.

The research project will approach the problem from three angles: epidemiological differences for communicable diseases will be investigated, qualitative interview studies will be performed, and time trends by means of historical methods will be examined.  An exploratory study will be conducted in Latvia during 2001 to investigate research potentials of the expanding general practitioner-based primary health care system.

The intention of the group is to prepare a proposal for EU-funding for this international, multidisciplinary project. In addition, other sources will also be approached.

Readers interested in further information are welcome to contact me at the following e-mail address: