What would Freud think?
In earlier postings here and here, I've discussed the incongruent nature of the actual risks of adverse events and the perception of those risks widely held by the public--more fear of plane crashes than automobile accidents, more fear of pandemic flu than seasonal flu, etc. This is the subject of a new book, Panicology, by two statisticians, Hugh Aldersey-Williams and Simon Briscoe. Of note, the book includes a section on hospital acquired infections. The authors postulate that the fear of HAIs and interest in the topic by the public may actually be the manifestation of a deeper fear, the fear of hospitalization itself. This is an interesting theory. Despite working in infection control for nearly two decades, I had never thought of that possibility.