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Table 3 Characteristics of included studies

From: Public perceptions of non-pharmaceutical interventions for reducing transmission of respiratory infection: systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies

Study (country) Infection context (timing) Participants (sampling) Data collection and analysis Behaviour type Aims
Cava et al. (2005)[36, 37] Canada SARS (During SARS, 2003-2004) 21 adults quarantined during SARS outbreak in Toronto. (Stratified random) Semi-structured interviews (21) Not stated (Miles & Huberman 1994) ISOLATION (Quarantine) To explore the experience of being on quarantine for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) with a focus on the relationship between perceived risk of contracting SARS and reported compliance with the quarantine order and protocols.
Janssen et al. (2006)[38]USA Avian Flu (Non-pandemic, 2005) 136 members of the general public. (Purposive) Focus groups Not stated PPM* (hygiene & vaccination) To test pandemic influenza messages with the public for understandability, believability/credibility, level of interest in the subject, perceived importance of the information, likelihood of action after being exposed to the information, and unanticipated consequences of the information.
Elledge et al. (2008)[39] USA Avian Flu (Non-pandemic, 2006) 60 members of the general public.(Not stated) Focus groups (12) Not stated PPM (hygiene) To determine the level of awareness of avian and pandemic flu for the county health department to develop effective communication messages
Jiang et al. (2009)[40]UK & Netherlands SARS (Post SARS, 2005-2006) 164 European Chinese adults living in the UK & Netherlands. (Purposive) Focus groups (23) Framework analysis (Ritchie J, Lewis J 2003) PPM (Mask wearing and personal distancing) To examine SARS-related risk perceptions and their impacts on precautionary actions and adverse consequences from the perspective of vulnerable communities living in unaffected regions.
Morrison & Yardley (2009)[41]UK Pandemic Flu (Non-pandemic, 2008) 31 members of the general public. (Purposive) Focus groups (8) & semi structured interview (1) Thematic analysis (Joffe H, Yardley L, 2004) PPM (Hygiene & personal distancing) To examine perceptions of infection control measures in the context of pandemic influenza.
Baum et al. (2009)[42]USA Pandemic Flu (Non-pandemic, 2008) 37 members of the general public. (Purposive) Focus groups (4) Thematic analysis (Creswell 2006; Krueger 1998; Weber 1990). DISTANCING (closure of schools, workplaces, public gatherings and quarantine) To characterize public perceptions about social distancing measures likely to be implemented during a pandemic.
Caress et al. (2010)[43]UK H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2009-2010) 50 adults with a clinician-diagnosed chest problem & their family members(Purposive) One to one interviews (20) & focus groups (3) Framework analysis (Ritchie & Spencer, 1994) ISOLATION & REMOTE CARE (Social isolation, help seeking and vaccination) To explore and compare information needs, worries and concerns, and health-related behaviours regarding swine flu in people with respiratory conditions and their family members.
Yardley et al. (2010)[44]UK Seasonal Flu and H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2009) 28 members of the general public.(Purposive) Semi structured -think aloud interviews Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Joffe & Yardley, 2004) PPM (Hand washing) To explore attitudes towards preventive behaviours to reduce the risk of transmission of seasonal and pandemic flu in the UK in order to inform development of an intervention.
Sui (2010)[45] Hong Kong H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2009) 30 chronic renal disease patients (Purposive) Participant observation, semi-structured interviewsThematic content analysis (Liamputtong & Ezzy, 2005) PPM (Mask wearing and personal distancing) To demonstrate the knowledge perceptions of and the preventive health behaviours toward the influenza A H1N1 pandemic among the chronic renal disease patients in Hong Kong.
Hilton & Smith (2010)[46] UK H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2009-2010) 73 members of the general public. (Purposive) Focus groups (14) Not stated (Pope & Mays 2000) PPM (Hygiene & vaccination) To examine public understandings of the swine flu pandemic, exploring how people deciphered the threat and perceived they could control the risks.
Ferng et al. (2011)[47] USA Influenza-like illness (Non-pandemic, 2008) 15 Hispanic females living in USA (Purposive) Participant observation and one focus group Not stated PPM (Mask wearing) To identify barriers to mask wearing for influenza-like illness and to examine the factors associated with the willingness to wear masks among households.
Nizame et al. (2011)[48] Bangladesh Respiratory infections (Non-pandemic, 2008-2009) 178 members of the general public. (Purposive) Interviews (34) & Focus Groups (16) Thematic content analysis PPM (Hand and respiratory hygiene To explore community perceptions on respiratory infections, why they occur, how they are spread, and the preventive measures that people take to protect themselves and their families.
Teasdale & Yardley (2011)[49] UK H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2009) 48 members of the general public. sive) Focus groups (11) Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Joffe & Yardley, 2004) ISOLATION & REMOTE CARE (Social isolation, remote health care & vaccination) To explore people’s beliefs, perceptions, reasoning, and emotional and contextual factors that may influence responses to government recommendations for managing flu pandemics.
Gray et al. (2012)[50] New Zealand H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2010) 80 members of the general public. (Purposive) Focus groups (8) Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) PPM & DISTANCING (social isolation, social distancing & vaccination) To provide qualitative data about community responses to key health messages in the 2009 and 2010 H1N1 campaigns, the impact of messages on behavioural change and the differential impact on vulnerable groups in New Zealand.
Rodriguez (2012)[51] Spain H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2010) 51 members of the general public.(Purposive) Focus groups (10) Not stated PPM (Hygiene & vaccination) To explore the views of the general population, the risk groups and medical personnel on the H1N1 influenza epidemic of winter 2009-2010.
Seale et al. (2012)[52] Australia Seasonal Flu and H1N1 2009 (Pandemic, 2010) 20 university students in New South Wales. (Convenience) Semi-structured interviews Not stated PPM & DISTANCING(Hygiene, social distancing and isolation) To examine the knowledge, attitudes, risk perceptions, practices and barriers towards influenza and infection control strategies.
  1. *PPM – Personal Protective Measures † Analytical method was not explicitly stated, however relevant reference was provided.