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Biosecur Bioterror. 2005;3(2):138-47.

Confidence in crisis? Understanding trust in government and public attitudes toward mandatory state health powers.

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W. K. Kellogg Doctoral Fellow in Health Policy Research, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


In response to the possibility of a bioterror attack using smallpox, many states have updated and revised their current public health laws in line with the Model Act, which would effectively give states the right to invoke mandatory state health powers, such as quarantine or vaccine. Previous studies have supported the importance of allying with the public in creating and implementing effective bioterror response policies. Historical case studies and recent research suggest that when the public is not supportive of government health policies, they may be less willing to comply. In this study we analyze a recent survey to determine the effects of a set of variables, including aspects of trust in government that have been found in previous studies to influence public opposition to compulsory government health policies, on opinions about compulsory vaccination and quarantine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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