This survey was performed in the framework of the International
Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). In the
Marseille area, 12 secondary schools (165 classes) were randomly
selected, consisting of 4,186 teenagers. Of these, 3,495 (83.5%)
agreed to participate to the study. After they had completed the
standard ISAAC questionnaire in class, teenagers were asked to complete
a questionnaire concerning their beliefs about six diseases: asthma,
cancer, tuberculosis, influenza, the common cold, and chicken pox.
Teenagers had to provide a grade between 1 (not at all) and 10 (very
much) for rating the disease on the following attributes: severe,
contagious, hereditary, patient is responsible for it, bashful,
well-known, unusual, curable, disgusting, disabling in everyday life,
and annoying for other people. The response rate was fair, between
68.5% and 81.4% according to the disease, except for questions on
tuberculosis, which were answered by only 35% of the study group.