Perception of Medical and Nursing Personnel Regarding the Likelihood of Occurring Infectious Disease Disasters: Analysis of 2010 decade data

Infectious diseases, such as the Novel 2019 Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, with the potential of spreading internationally, continue to menace and shut down the health systems of weak, but also developed countries. Risk perception portrays a valid disaster preparedness behavior precursor variable. Aim: The objective of the study was the exploration of the medical and nursing personnel perception regarding the likelihood of occurring infectious disease disasters analyzing 2010 decade data, for explaining the current SARS-Cov-2 response. Methods: A cross-sectional research was conducted from February 2012 to April 2013. Three hundred and sixty-four physicians and nurses participated. A disaster preparedness questionnaire was used. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis for the sociodemographic characteristics’ parameters and their relation to the dependent variable of the likelihood perception of occurring infectious disease disasters were performed. Results: Eightytwo-point two percent of the responders perceived the likelihood of occurring infectious disease disasters in the future as “Likely”. The univariate logistic regression analysis was significant (P≤0.05) for sex (reference category: men) (OR 3.24, 95% CI 1.74–6.04, P<.001) and for education level (reference category: undergraduate degree) (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.28-0.91, P=.023). The responders with postgraduate degree perceived the likelihood of occurring infectious disease disasters as “Likely” at a lower percentage than those with only undergraduate one (74.2% versus 85.1%) (x2(1)=5.26, P=.022). In relation to the sociodemographic characteristics’ multivariate logistic regression analysis, only sex was significant (OR 4.42, 95% CI 1.01–19.44, P=.049). Conclusions: At the present research, it was detected that a high percentage of the Greek medical and nursing personnel (82.2%) perceived the likelihood of happening infectious disease disasters as “Likely”. Furthermore, at the present study, it was found that the female physicians and nurses perceived the likelihood of occurring infectious disease disasters as “Likely” more frequently, a detection that indicates that might be more effective in disaster response planning. For the further enhancement of the perception that infectious disease disasters are likely to occur, and by extension for the infectious diseases-related disaster preparedness, appropriate adjustments in medicine and nursing undergraduate and postgraduate programs should be done.