Survey of pandemic behavior: to stay at home or not

Tamie Sugawara*, Masakazu Sugiura, Yasushi Ohkusa, Kiyosu Taniguchi, Nobuhiko Okabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Preparedness plans for pandemic flu are published in many countries. Since the details of pandemic flu are still not clear, mathematical models are widely used for the development of pandemic flu preparedness plans. Obtaining actual numbers for parameters in a mathematic model is very difficult. Our objectives were (1) to obtain realistic estimations of what proportion of people will decide to stay at home during pandemic flu and (2) to investigate reasons for their decisions. If the number of parameters is obtained, we can apply these parameters to the mathematical pandemic model. METHODS: In April 2007, we a surveyed 2,614 households, selected randomly from 250,000 in Japan. "Reason to stay at home during a pandemic flu," "Working at Home", and "food inventory" were asked. We analyzed the "decision of whether to stay home" by multivariate analysis. RESULTS: We collected responses from 1,727 households (5,381 individuals). Of these, 46.1% would definitely stay at home, 47.1% would leave if necessary, and 6.7% would leave anyway. We found that "30-40 years old," "vaccination of influenza," and "cars and motorbikes as normal transportation" significantly affect the decision to "stay at home." CONCLUSIONS: We identified major factors for the decision of general Japanese people to stay home during pandemic flu. The fact that people most likely to go out were 30-40 years old suggests a close relationship to workplaces policy. To encourage people to stay at home during pandemic flu, management and human resource management policies in the workplace are thus important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalKansenshogaku zasshi. The Journal of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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