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Risk communication and generic preparedness: from agent-based to action-based planning - a conceptual framework

Dickmann, P., Apfel, F. and Gottschalk, R. (2016) Risk communication and generic preparedness: from agent-based to action-based planning - a conceptual framework. British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, 13 (10). pp. 1-5. ISSN 2231-0614

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Identification Number: 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/24033


Responses to recent infectious disease outbreaks, such as to Influenza Pandemic 2009 and the on-going Ebola outbreak in West Africa, reveal the need for new and strengthened approaches to risk communication and governance. The article argues for a fundamental re-conceptualisation of current approaches to risk communication, preparedness planning and response. It calls for a reframing of the way we currently identify and respond to outbreaks around a set of core behaviour-based response patterns. This new model moves away from the current risk communication focus on a plethora of agent-specific threats to five generic response patterns that are based on socially relevant response activities such as 1) controlling vectors, 2) enhancing hygiene, 3) isolation of the sick, 4) protection of the well, and 5) systemic protection of people and their environments. Emphasis is placed on gaining relevant insights into the context specific needs of different communities related to these five patterns. Governance structures are then built and evaluated based on their capacity to collect, communicate, share and prepare the public to take appropriate action related to the five different patterns before, during and after an event. Reframing risk communication and preparedness approaches around a better understanding of the determinants of these general behavioural patterns in infectious control could strengthen infection control literacy, response competence and build resilience of both individuals and health systems to address future epidemics, pandemics and other public health threats.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2016 11:10
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:16

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