Risk perception and feeding habits with respect to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a population of doctors and hospitalized patients

Cinta Folch, Jordi Casabona, Anna Esteve, Montserrat Arzoz, Albert Prat, Jesús De Santiago, Margalida Vilar

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Abstract

Background: To describe the risk perception related to the BSE and the vCJD and to estimate the possible changes in the alimentary behaviour related to the introduction of "mad cow disease" in the public debate. Methods: Transversal study through questionnaire from 148 physicians and 140 patients in the HUGTiP. Results: 52.0% and 62.6% of the physicians and the patients respectively reported changes in their consumption of beef (p>0.05), most of them since November 2000 (71.4% and 75.2%, respectively). During May 2001, 36.2% of the physicians and 23.1% of the patients had already recovered their normal consumption. The factors associated with changes in the alimentary behaviour were: to be over 50 (OR= 2.3;IC95%:1.1-4.8) and to declare not to know or not to believe that the mass media had exaggerated the situation (OR= 3.0;IC95%:1.8-5.0). Conclusions: Changes in the alimentary behaviour are mostly the consequence of the mass media coverage of the crisis. Seven month after the first case of "mad cow", 29.2% of the individuals declared to have restored their normal alimentary habits, coinciding with the decrease of the mass media interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-164
JournalEnfermedades Emergentes
Volume5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2003

Keywords

  • "Mad cow disease"
  • Bovine Spongiform Encephalophaty
  • Food habits
  • New Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

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