La E, Bunniran S, Garbinsky D, Reynolds M, Poston S, Harrington L. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions among adults with chronic pulmonary conditions in the US. Poster presented at the ATS American Thoracic Society 2023; May 19, 2023. Washington, DC.

RATIONALE: Each year in the US, 4-10% of adults with chronic cardiopulmonary conditions experience respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, with increased risks of complications/severe outcomes. RSV-related hospitalization rates are up to 3.6 and 13.4 times higher for adults with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respectively, vs. adults of the same age without these conditions. However, there are no previous assessments of RSV knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions (KAP) among these adults. The objective of this study was to evaluate RSV KAP among US adults at increased risk of severe RSV infection, including individuals with chronic pulmonary conditions.

METHODS: Between May-June 2022, a cross-sectional, web-based survey was administered to US adults at risk of RSV infection to assess their respiratory infection and RSV-related KAP. At least 200 adults were included in the survey from each of 4 subgroups: older adults aged 60-89 years and adults aged 18-59 years with ≥1 chronic pulmonary condition, ≥1 chronic cardiac condition, or diabetes.

RESULTS: Among the 827 survey respondents, 347 (42.0%) were aged 18-59 years with ≥1 chronic pulmonary condition. Within this subgroup, 84.4% (n=293/347) reported having asthma and 19.9% (n=69/347) reported having COPD. Although 77.5% (n=269/347) of the chronic pulmonary subgroup considered themselves to be knowledgeable about respiratory infections, 44.7% had never heard of RSV (n=155/347). Among those who had heard of RSV, only 35.4% (n=68/192) reported being knowledgeable about it, with several knowledge gaps identified. For example, 27.1% (n=52/192) were unable to identify common symptoms of RSV. Other knowledge gaps included the bacterial vs. viral causes of respiratory infections, RSV seasonality and frequency of occurrence, and whether RSV is a major cause of respiratory infection in specific patient populations. Most respondents who are aware of RSV perceive it to be at least as severe as several other respiratory infections, although 64.1% (n=123/192) rarely consider RSV as a potential cause of their cold/flu-like symptoms. Most respondents with asthma (70.3%; n=206/293) or COPD (84.1%; n=58/69) are worried/very worried about more severe asthma and COPD symptoms, respectively, that can be triggered by RSV or other respiratory infections.

CONCLUSIONS: Although adults with chronic pulmonary conditions are concerned about worsening symptoms for their underlying conditions, RSV-related knowledge gaps exist. These findings on respiratory infection and RSV-related knowledge gaps, attitudes, and perceptions among adults with chronic pulmonary conditions can be used to inform RSV disease awareness and education efforts.

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