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1.  Avian Influenza Risk Perception and Preventive Behavior among Traditional Market Workers and Shoppers in Taiwan: Practical Implications for Prevention 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24157.
Background
Avian influenza (AI) can be highly pathogenic and fatal. Preventive behavior such as handwashing and wearing face masks has been recommended. However, little is known about what psychosocial factors might influence people's decision to adopt such preventive behavior. This study aims to explore risk perception and other factors associated with handwashing and wearing face masks to prevent AI.
Methodology/Principal Findings
An interviewer-administered survey was conducted among 352 traditional market workers and shoppers in Taiwan between December 2009 and January 2010. Factors associated with the recommended AI preventive behavior (i.e., when in a traditional market, wearing a face mask and also washing hands after any contact with poultry) included: having correct knowledge about the fatality rate of AI (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.18), knowing of severe cases of AI (AOR = 2.13), being informed of local AI outbreaks (AOR = 2.24), living in northeastern Taiwan (AOR = 6.01), having a senior high-school education (AOR = 3.33), and having a university or higher education (AOR = 6.86). Gender interactive effect was also found among participants with a senior high-school education, with males being less likely to engage in the recommended AI preventive behavior than their female counterparts (AOR = 0.34).
Conclusions/Significance
Specific information concerning AI risk perception was associated with the recommended AI preventive behavior. In particular, having correct knowledge about the fatality rate of AI and being informed of severe cases and local outbreaks of AI were linked to increased AI preventive behavior. These findings underscore the importance of transparency in dealing with epidemic information. These results also have practical implications for prevention and policy-making to more effectively promote the recommended AI preventive behavior in the public.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024157
PMCID: PMC3166308  PMID: 21912667
2.  Household environmental tobacco smoke and risks of asthma, wheeze and bronchitic symptoms among children in Taiwan 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):11.
Background
Although studies show that maternal smoking during pregnancy increases the risks of respiratory outcomes in childhood, evidence concerning the effects of household environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure remains inconsistent.
Methods
We conducted a population-based study comprised of 5,019 seventh and eighth-grade children in 14 Taiwanese communities. Questionnaire responses by parents were used to ascertain children's exposure and disease status. Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate the effects of ETS exposures on the prevalence of asthma, wheeze, and bronchitic symptoms.
Results
The lifetime prevalence of wheeze was 11.6% and physician-diagnosed asthma was 7.5% in our population. After adjustment for potential confounders, in utero exposure showed the strongest effect on all respiratory outcomes. Current household ETS exposure was significantly associated with increased prevalence of active asthma, ever wheeze, wheeze with nighttime awakening, and bronchitis. Maternal smoking was associated with the increased prevalence of a wide range of wheeze subcategories, serious asthma, and chronic cough, but paternal smoking had no significant effects. Although maternal smoking alone and paternal smoking alone were not independently associated with respiratory outcomes, joint exposure appeared to increase the effects. Furthermore, joint exposure to parental smoking showed a significant effect on early-onset asthma (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.00-4.02), but did not show a significant effect on late-onset asthma (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.36-3.87).
Conclusion
We concluded that prenatal and household ETS exposure had significant adverse effects on respiratory health in Taiwanese children.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-11
PMCID: PMC2828425  PMID: 20113468

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