The role of culture in relation to the seasonal influenza prevention practices of Hong Kong Chinese parents with preschool children

Yuk Yin Lam, Cathrine Fowler, Angela Dawson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Aims and objectives: To explore the role of culture in the seasonal influenza prevention practices of Hong Kong Chinese parents with a healthy preschool child. Background: Cultural values and norms significantly influence parents’ health preventive practices and related health promotion strategies. Most research is concerned with influenza prevention and focuses on the factors affecting vaccination uptake, the use of facemasks and effective hand hygiene. There is limited research exploring the influence of culture on the seasonal influenza prevention practices of parents with a young child in Hong Kong. Design: Mixed methods using a multiple-case study approach. Methods: Purposive intensity sampling was employed to recruit 20 parents with children under five years old. A thematic analysis was employed to examine the qualitative interview data and the quantitative data were analysed descriptively. The data were then integrated to provide a more rigorous comprehension of parents’ cultural seasonal influenza preventive practices. Comparisons were conducted across the 20 cases and patterns examined. Results: Five themes were identified. They were sharing beds; boiling white vinegar to kill air-born germs; diet therapy to enhance health; self-prescribed Chinese medication to manage a child’s cold symptoms; and the co-use of Western and traditional Chinese medications to prevent seasonal influenza. Conclusions: The findings indicate that a pluralistic approach to health promotion should be considered to ensure the likelihood that families accept, support and comply with health advice in seasonal influenza prevention. The delivery of culturally appropriate health promotion requires a close partnership between nurses and parents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • Community health
  • cultural issues
  • seasonal influenza

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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