Trust in governments and health care workers is low around the world, influencing attitudes on vaccines, according to a study from UCLA researchers released Wednesday.
“Trust is essential for effective health care delivery and health policy implementation,” said Dr. Corrina Moucheraud of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, a professor of health policy and the lead author of the study, which predates the coronavirus pandemic by about a year.
The study, which drew on surveys of more than 149,000 people in 144 countries, is published in the August edition of the journal Health Affairs.
In the midst of a global pandemic that has claimed more than 4.2 million lives, according to the World Health Organization, and where basic preventive measures depend heavily on trust in government leaders and health care professionals, the findings are a sober reminder of the need for effective public health communications to control the crisis, Moucheraud said.
“What we’ve learned through this research is that trust in government may be critical for trust in health messages, and for feeling that vaccines are important, effective and safe — but only one-quarter of respondents globally meet this bar,” she said. “And fewer than half of respondents globally said that they trust doctors and nurses a lot.”
The findings are based on analysis of responses to the 2018 Wellcome Global Monitor survey, which is the most recent and comprehensive (across all geographic regions and income levels) global assessment of people’s opinions of health and medical topics.
“People’s trust in these institutions — governments and health care professionals — was correlated with trust in health or medical advice from them, and with more positive attitudes toward vaccines,” said Huiying Guo, a Fielding School doctoral student and co-author of the study. “Vaccine attitudes also varied substantially worldwide, with safety being the most common concern.”
Researchers found less than one-third of respondents expressed trust in health advice from their governments, and less than half of respondents trusted doctors and nurses or felt positive about vaccines.
There were significant differences by geographic region. Positive attitudes toward vaccines — feeling that they are safe, effective, and important — varied widely, with more than 70% of South Asian respondents, but fewer than 40% of European or East Asian respondents, strongly agreeing with these sentiments. In some regions — East Asia, Europe, and North America — respondents were particularly unlikely to strongly agree that vaccines were safe.
Positive vaccine attitudes were about 39% more common among those who trust the government and 59% more common among those who trust health advice from the government. Those who trust doctors and nurses, as well as those who trust health advice from medical workers such as doctors and nurses, were also more likely to report positive vaccine attitudes.
Although the survey predates the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak by roughly one year, the researchers found elements that may be relevant to the current pandemic. Trust in government was positively associated with rural residence and negatively associated with educational attainment, and was highest among those who were older.
The researchers also identified gender differences — women expressed greater trust in medical advice from the government and from medical workers, compared with men.
The analysis found three key findings that are especially relevant to policy-making:
— In settings where public trust in governments is especially low, public officials might not be the optimal face of public health messages;
— Family physicians may be more effective at communicating health advice and vaccine messages, rather than local or national public health officials; and
— Understanding the sources of vaccine attitudes is essential to boosting vaccination rates.
“Policy makers should understand that the public may have varying levels of trust in different institutions and actors,” said co-author Dr. James Macinko, also with the Fielding School. “Although much attention is paid to crafting public health messages, it may be equally important, especially during a pandemic, to identify appropriate, trusted messengers to deliver those messages more effectively to different target populations.”
13 comments for "UCLA: Trust in governments and health care workers low globally"
The people giving these “vaccines” don’t give informed consent before hand. Even if they attempted to , there is not enough information gathered about adverse reactions.There are no long term heath studies, one year is not long term.
“Trust in governments and health care workers low globally”
This is what happens when politicians and governments politicalize a virus
Tim Scott says
While true, let’s not wide brush this onto “politicians and governments.” This result is the responsibility of exactly one politician, who unfortunately occupied the most powerful government seat in the world at the worst possible moment. Everything that follows after is a result of the president of the United States initially pretending there was nothing wrong in order to cover up his being inadequate for the job of dealing with it, and never backing down from that initial pretense.
Your right Tim. Biden is doing a bad job running this pandemic. Funny this is the first time I have ever agreed with what you said. Thank God Biden was not in office when this started, remember he said numerous times he didn’t want to shut down the international travel to America. Imagine how much worse it could have been if Trump was like Biden and waited.
Tim Scott says
LOLOL…the I pretend to misunderstand and then agree troll!!! That was hilarious Tim!!! Sis you think of that all ny yourself?
But…no…I’m talking about “oh this will just go away by itself”…”don’t listen to doctors, we need you wage slaves out there working and dying”…”the health care system me and the republicans put in place of Obamacare is solving everything”…”don’t test people because if we find out they are sick they’ll expect us to do something”…etc etc etc that lays hundreds of thousands of casualties on the GOP’s tab…
Of course I expect you to ignore that…Republicans have long established themselves as the party of skipping out when a bill comes due. Even before Trump came along that was the GOP standard, but wow did that grifter bring it into full bloom! First time I can recall that the GOP amassed a blood debt with USian civilians.
There’s definitely nothing “warp speed” about Biden.
Ya, and let’s have a big party in Chinatown
Remember when Biden and everyone on CNN said there was no way they could trust this vaccine? They claimed it was rushed, new technology. I agreed with them, and still do.
Another mango moron with yet another attempt to rewrite history in their own beady little minds.
IF Biden had been president, there is a distinct likelihood, if history is to be considered, that there might not have even been a pandemic. Obama had put in place teams in various facilities, including Wuhan, to keep an eye out for just these kinds of concerns – like the swine flu was. Since we had more advance notice for the Swine Flu, it never really got much of a chance to become a full-blown pandemic. This could have been the same… But NO! The porcine pumpkin primadonna just could not leave anything alone and disbanded our best protection from this pandemic before it would have started.
The blame for the pandemic rests squarely on Trump. The blame for the continuance of the pandemic rest on you, Tom, and your reality-denying trumplican cronies. Your blind obeisance to your daft dumbigod and his fanatical fanta fascists allows for this stupidity to continue and you continue to give aid and comfort to our enemies; foreign and domestic… In this particular case, an enemy that is literally killing hundreds of thousands of Americans. YOU are allowing it to propagate and mutate by refusing to keep America first in vaccinations. With your misinformation campaign, YOU are actively attempting to cause more American misery and deaths.
Unfortunately, the people that need to hear that can’t and won’t.
Don’t worry, Jimmy. Trump already took that title. You’re in the clear now.
Tim Scott says
Let’s see…just since Carter we have had…
An economics “revolutionary” that removed pretty much all taxes from the rich and balanced that against massive payroll taxes so the working class could be exploited to build the gigantic wealth concentration we are up against forty years later.
A war starting cowboy that dragged us into not one but TWO endless and bottomless pit crawls without any graceful way out.
And Trump, who attempted to destroy the constitutional process completely.
I would say Jimmy Carter is more than vindicated by history…even just recent history.
Tim, tell a lie often enough and I’ll still never believe it. barf
Tim Scott says
What lie? Are you saying that Trump handled the pandemic well…by ignoring it? By turning ignoring the most basic of preventive measures into some “badge of honor” for the 30% of the population that follows him as their messiah?
The ONLY thing he got right was fast tracking the vaccines through the regulatory process, and he did that because corporate profits were involved. There have already been congressional Republicans revealed for their insider trading profiteering off the pandemic…I’d give odds that the Trump Organization made some very heavy “bets” on pharmaceuticals in the stick market. Would you be surprised?