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Background: The willingness of healthcare workers to risk their lives for a patient if a fatal transformation of
the virus would occur is a major concern, especially during a pandemic where the need for adequate staffing is crucial and
where the public atmosphere might increase anxiety and fear of exposure.
Objective: To examine the relationships between the source of information about the disease and the willingness of
healthcare workers to risk their lives for a patient with a fatal A/H1N1 flu, during the winter A/H1N1 pandemic in Israel.
Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to healthcare workers in 21 hospitals and 40 primary clinics in Israel between
November 26, 2009 and December 10, 2009 (the peak of the winter A/H1N1 flu outbreak).
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 1147 healthcare workers. The most common source of information reported
was television (65%), followed by speaking with colleagues and reading the Ministry of Health regulations (63%) each,
internet (61%), and newspapers (51%). The least common sources of information were reading a scientific article (35%)
and attending a professional lecture (31%). Willingness to risk one’s life was significantly higher in healthcare workers
who reported that their source of information about the disease was reading a scientific article, Ministry of Health
regulations, a professional lecture, or a colleague. Willingness was not significantly different among health care workers
who reported that their source of information about the disease was television programs, a newspaper article, or general
Conclusions: Willingness to risk one’s life for a patient is directly related to professional sources of information and is not
related to nonprofessional information obtained from mass media.