Objective: To assess knowledge of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) and concern about the disease in the South Australian Community including adolescents, adults, parents and non-parents. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted by face to face interviews in South Australia in 2012. Participants were scored on their knowledge and concern about IMD. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed with the survey data weighted by age and gender in accordance with 2011 Census data. Results: Of 5200 households randomly selected and stratified by metropolitan or rural location, 3055 participants were interviewed with a response rate of 60.3%. The majority were Australian born (74.2%, n=. 2267) with 31.8% (n=972) of those interviewed being parents, and 15.9% (n=487) adolescents (15-24 years). Almost a quarter of participants (23.5%, n=. 717) do not know what meningococcal disease is, with 9.1% (n=278) believing incorrectly that IMD is a viral infection. 36.6% (n=1114) had low overall knowledge of IMD. Adolescents (p<0.050), non-Australian born (p<0.001), low educational attainment (p=0.019), low household income (p=0.011), low/medium socio-economic status (p<0.050) or living in a metropolitan area (p=0.006) were more likely to have lower overall knowledge of IMD. Participants who were not parents (p<0.001), male gender (p<0.001), single (p<0.001), highly educated (p=0.022) or had high household income (p=0.015), had lower concern about IMD. Conclusion: Large community knowledge gaps for IMD were observed, particularly amongst adolescents and adults with low educational attainment and low socio-economic status. Improving community knowledge of IMD could help ensure optimal uptake of a new meningococcal vaccine. Our study results can help guide development of community tailored immunisation education programs.
- Meningococcal disease