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Vol. 28. Issue 2.
Pages 140-154 (July - December 2010)
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Vol. 28. Issue 2.
Pages 140-154 (July - December 2010)
Artigo original
DOI: 10.1016/S0870-9025(10)70005-5
Open Access
No que se pensa quando se pensa em doenças?: estudo psicométrico dos riscos de saúde
In what do we think when we think about diseases?: psychometric study of health risks
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Cristina Camiloa,b,
Corresponding author
camilo.cristina@gmail.com

Autora para correspondência.
, Maria Luísa Limab
a Universidade Lusófona, Lisboa, Portugal
b ISCTE-IUL, Lisboa, Portugal
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Abstract
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Resumo
Introdução

Um conjunto substancial de literatura que recorre ao paradigma psicométrico revela que a maioria das ameaças são caracterizadas pela sua posição nas dimensões avaliativas “risco assustador” e “risco desconhecido”. Este trabalho procura desvendar se as pessoas também caracterizam os riscos de saúde recorrendo às dimensões referidas e como são representadas diferentes ameaças à saúde nesta estrutura dimensional.

Material e métodos

Um questionário avalia a representação de 15 riscos de saúde (depressão, gripe, constipação, infecção por Ébola alcoolismo, hepatite, toxicodependência, diabetes, gripe das aves, ferimentos resultantes de acidente, anorexia, tuberculose, cancro, doenças cardiovasculares e SIDA). Cada risco é classificado nas dimensões de avaliação risco incontrolável, assustador, fatal, involuntário, afecta o próprio, desconhecido, novo e com efeitos diferidos. A amostra de 191 participantes é proveniente de duas grandes organizações públicas, numa organização de saúde e numa universidade.

Resultados

Uma primeira análise factorial organiza os oito itens em três dimensões de avaliação: risco assustador, risco desconhecido e risco controlável. Uma segunda análise factorial onde se excluem os dois riscos menos conhecidos (Ébola e gripe das aves) reproduz as duas dimensões risco assustador e risco desconhecido. A análise do posicionamento dos riscos nestas dimensões revela que o risco representado como mais assustador é o cancro e o risco representado como menos assustador é a constipação.

Conclusão

Conclui-se que a representação dos riscos de saúde é feita com base em dimensões semelhantes às obtidas no estudos de outras fontes de risco, i.e., as dimensões risco assustador e risco desconhecido. No entanto, a percepção de controle é importante para a avaliação de riscos de saúde desconhecidos. Na sua generalidade o estudo revela variações na representação dos riscos de saúde com implicações importantes para as áreas da comunicação e da gestão dos riscos de saúde.

Keywords:
Illness representation
Health risks
Psychometric paradigm
Palavras-chave:
Representação das doenças
Riscos de saúde
Paradigma psicométrico
Abstract
Introduction

A substantial body of research using a psychometric approach reveals that most dreads are characterized by their position on the dimensions “dread risk” and “unknown risk”. This paper aims to find out if people characterize health risks recurring to the same dimensions and how different health threats are represented within this dimensional structure.

Material and methods

A questionnaire assesses the representation of 15 health risks (depression, flu, cold, infection by Ebola virus, alcoholism, hepatitis, drugs abuse, diabetes, birds flu, injuries resulting from car crashes, anorexia, tuberculosis, cardiovascular diseases and AIDS). Each risk is rated in the following dimensions: uncontrollable, dread, consequences fatal, involuntary, affects self, unknown to the exposed, new and effect delayed. One hundred ninety one participants come from two non-health organizations, one health organization and one university.

Results

The first factor analysis produces 3 factors out of the eight items: the original factors plus a factor named “controllable risk”. A second factor analysis excluding the less known risks (Ebola and birds flu) reproduces the original dimensions “dread risk” and “unknown risk”. The most dreadful and unknown risk is cancer and cold is the less dreadful and unknown risk.

Conclusions

One concludes that health risk representation lies on the same evaluative dimensions as other dreads (dreadful risk and unknown risk). However the perception of control is an important dimension when evaluating unknown risks. In general the results reveal variations in health risk representation with important implications for risk communication and risk management.

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