Impact of a dengue outbreak experience in the preventive perceptions of the community from a temperate region: Madeira Island, Portugal.
ABSTRACT: The ability to effectively modify behaviours is increasingly relevant to attain and maintain a good health status. Current behaviour-change models and theories present two main approaches for (healthier) decision-making: one analytical/logical, and one experiential/emotional/intuitive. Therefore, to achieve an integral and dynamic understanding of the public perceptions both approaches should be considered: community surveys should measure cognitive understanding of health-risk contexts, and also explore how past experiences affect this understanding. In 2011, community perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed in Madeira Island?. After Madeira's first dengue outbreak (2012) a unique opportunity to compare perceptions before and after the outbreak-experience occurred. This was the aim of this study, which constituted the first report on the effect of an outbreak experience on community perceptions regarding a specific vector-borne disease. A cross-sectional survey was performed within female residents at the most aegypti-infested areas. Perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed according to the Essential Perception (EP)-analysis tool. A matching process paired individuals from studies performed before and after the outbreak, ensuring homogeneity in six determinant variables. After the outbreak, there were more female residents who assimilated the concepts considered to be essential to understand the proposed behaviour. Nevertheless, no significant difference was observed in the number of female residents who achieved the defined 'minimal understanding''. Moreover, most of the population (95.5%) still believed at least in one of the identified myths. After the outbreak some myths disappeared and others appeared. The present study quantified and explored how the experience of an outbreak influenced the perception regarding a dengue-preventive behaviour. The outbreak experience surprisingly led to the appearance of new myths within the population, apart from the expected increase of relevant concepts' assimilation. Monitoring public perceptions is therefore crucial to make preventing dengue campaigns updated and worthy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Community participation is mandatory in the prevention of Dengue outbreaks. Taking public views into account is crucial to guide more effective planning and quicker community participation in preventing campaigns. This study aims to assess community perceptions of Madeira population in order to explore their involvement in the A. aegypti's control and reinforce health-educational planning. Due to the lack of accurate methodologies for measuring perception, a new tool to assess the community's perceptions was built. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was performed in the Island's aegypti-infested area, exploring residents' perceptions regarding most critical community behaviour: aegypti-source reduction and their domestic aegypti-breeding sites. A novel tool defining five essential topics which underlie the source reduction's awareness and accession was built, herein called Essential-Perception (EP) analysis. RESULTS: Of 1276 individuals, 1182 completed the questionnaire (92?·?6%). EP-Score analysis revealed that community's perceptions were scarce, inconsistent and possibly incorrect. Most of the population (99?·?6%) did not completely understood the five essential topics explored. An average of 54?·?2% of residents only partially understood each essential topic, revealing inconsistencies in their understanding. Each resident apparently believed in an average of four false assumptions/myths. Significant association (p<0.001) was found between both the EP-Score level and the domestic presence of breeding sites, supporting the validity of this EP-analysis. Aedes aegypti's breeding sites, consisting of décor/leisure containers, presented an atypical pattern of infestation comparing with dengue prone regions. CONCLUSIONS: The studied population was not prepared for being fully engaged in dengue prevention. Evidences suggest that EP-methodology was efficient and accurate in assessing the community perception and its compliance to practices. Moreover, it suggested a list of myths that could persist in the community. This is the first study reporting an aegypti-entomological pattern and community's perception in a developed dengue-prone region. Tailored messages considering findings of this study are recommended to be used in future campaigns in order to more effectively impact the community perception and behaviour.
Project description:Bats are known reservoirs of Nipah virus (NiV) and some filoviruses and also appear likely to harbor the evolutionary progenitors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). While bats are considered a reservoir of deadly viruses, little is known about people's knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of bat conservation and ecology. The current study aimed to assess community people's knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of bat ecology, myths, and the role of bats in transmitting NiV in Bangladesh. Since 2001, NiV has been a continuous threat to public health with a mortality rate of approximately 70% in Bangladesh. Over the years, many public health interventions have been implemented to raise awareness about bats and the spreading of NiV among the community peoples of Nipah outbreak areas (NOAs) and Nipah non-outbreak areas (NNOAs). We hypothesized that people from both areas might have similar knowledge of bat ecology and myths about bats but different knowledge regarding their role in the spreading of NiV. Using a four-point Likert scale-based questionnaire, our analysis showed that most people lack adequate knowledge regarding the role of bats in maintaining the ecological balance and instead trust their beliefs in different myths about bats. Factor score analysis showed that respondents' gender (p = 0.01), the outbreak status of the area (p = 0.03), and their occupation (p = 0.04) were significant factors influencing their knowledge of bat ecology and myths. A regression analysis showed that farmers had 0.34 times the odds of having correct or positive knowledge of bat ecology and myths than businesspersons (odds ratio (OR) = 0.34, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.15-0.78, p = 0.01). Regarding the spreading of NiV via bats, people had a lower level of knowledge. In NOAs, age (p = 0.00), occupation (p = 0.00), and level of education (p = 0.00) were found to be factors contributing to the amount of knowledge regarding the transmission of NiV, whereas in NNOAs, the contributing factors were occupation (p = 0.00) and level of education (p = 0.01). Regression analysis revealed that respondents who were engaged in services (OR = 3.02, 95% CI = 1.07-8.54, p = 0.04) and who had completed primary education (OR = 3.06, 95% CI = 1.02-9.17, p < 0.05) were likely to have correct knowledge regarding the spreading of NiV. Based on the study results, we recommend educational interventions for targeted groups in the community, highlighting the ecosystem services and conservation of bats so as to improve people's current knowledge and subsequent behavior regarding the role of bats in ecology and the spreading of NiV in Bangladesh.
Project description:French Guiana is a territory that has a decades-long history of dengue outbreaks and more recently, in 2014, a chikungunya outbreak. Zika virus (ZIKV) emerged in late 2015 and subsequently led to an important outbreak.A cross-sectional phone survey was conducted among the general population during the outbreak in June 2016 with a total of 1,129 individuals interviewed to assess perceptions, knowledge and behaviors regarding zika infection. The population seemed aware of zika, and perceived the infection as a more serious health threat than other common mosquito-borne diseases. Furthermore, both the perceptions and behaviors related to zika and its prevention were found to vary considerably among different social groups, geographic areas and gender; less educated female participants were found to perceive the disease as more worrisome and were less likely to adopt protective behaviors. Moreover, female population has been particularly responsive to awareness campaigns and rapidly understood the extent of risks associated with ZIKV infection.These results revealed that ZIKV appeared at the time of the survey as a new health threat that concerns the public more than chikungunya and dengue fever with differences observed among subgroups of population. These results have implications for the development of multifaceted infection control programs, including strategies for prevention and awareness, helping the population to develop an accurate perception of the threat they are facing and encouraging behavior changes.
Project description:There is an urgent need to increase population levels of physical activity, particularly amongst those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. Multiple factors influence physical activity behaviour but the generalisability of current evidence to such 'hard-to-reach' population subgroups is limited by difficulties in recruiting them into studies. Also, rigorous qualitative studies of lay perceptions and perceptions of community leaders about public health efforts to increase physical activity are sparse. We sought to explore, within a socio-economically disadvantaged community, residents' and community leaders' perceptions of physical activity (PA) interventions and issues regarding their implementation, in order to improve understanding of needs, expectations, and social/environmental factors relevant to future interventions.Within an ongoing regeneration project (Connswater Community Greenway), in a socio-economically disadvantaged community in Belfast, we collaborated with a Community Development Agency to purposively sample leaders from public- and voluntary-sector community groups and residents. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 leaders. Residents (n?=?113), of both genders and a range of ages (14 to 86 years) participated in focus groups (n?=?14) in local facilities. Interviews and focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic framework.Three main themes were identified: awareness of PA interventions; factors contributing to intervention effectiveness; and barriers to participation in PA interventions. Participants reported awareness only of interventions in which they were involved directly, highlighting a need for better communications, both inter- and intra-sectoral, and with residents. Meaningful engagement of residents in planning/organisation, tailoring to local context, supporting volunteers, providing relevant resources and an 'exit strategy' were perceived as important factors related to intervention effectiveness. Negative attitudes such as apathy, disappointing experiences, information with no perceived personal relevance and limited access to facilities were barriers to people participating in interventions.These findings illustrate the complexity of influences on a community's participation in PA interventions and support a social-ecological approach to promoting PA. They highlight the need for cross-sector working, effective information exchange, involving residents in bottom-up planning and providing adequate financial and social support. An in-depth understanding of a target population's perspectives is of key importance in translating PA behaviour change theories into practice.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The growing burden of dengue in many countries worldwide and the difficulty of preventing outbreaks have increased the urgency to identify alternative public health management strategies and effective approaches to control and prevent dengue outbreaks. The objectives of this study were to understand the impact of dengue outbreak on different stakeholders in Brazil, to explore their perceptions of approaches used by governmental authorities to control and prevent dengue outbreaks and to define the challenges and implications of preventing future outbreaks.<h4>Methods</h4>In 2015, a qualitative study was conducted in two urban states in Brazil: São Paulo, which was experiencing an outbreak in 2015, and Rio de Janeiro, which experienced outbreaks in 2011 and 2012. Face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire were conducted with nine different categories of stakeholders: health workers (physicians, nurses), hospital administrators, municipal government representatives, community members and leaders, school administrators, business leaders and vector control managers. Interviews were focused on the following areas: impact of the dengue outbreak, perceptions of control measures implemented by governmental authorities during outbreaks and challenges in preventing future dengue outbreaks.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 40 stakeholders were included in the study. Health workers and community members reported longer waiting times at hospitals due to the increased number of patients receiving care for dengue-related symptoms. Health workers and hospital administrators reported that there were no major interruptions in access to care. Overall financial impact of dengue outbreaks on households was greatest for low-income families. Despite prevention and control campaigns implemented between outbreak periods, various stakeholders reported that dengue prevention and control efforts performed by municipal authorities remained insufficient, suggesting that efforts should be reinforced and better coordinated by governmental authorities, particularly during outbreak periods.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The study shows that a dengue outbreak has a multisectorial impact in the medical, societal, economic and political sectors. The study provides useful insights and knowledge in different stakeholder populations that could guide local authorities and government officials in planning, designing and initiating public health programs. Research focused on a better understanding of how communities and political authorities respond to dengue outbreaks is a necessary component for designing and implementing plans to decrease the incidence and impact of dengue outbreaks in Brazil.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Sleep status can affect the body's immune status and mental health. This study aims to investigate the sleep status of Chinese residents during the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to evaluate its related risk factors. METHODS:This research carried out a cross-sectional survey in February 2020 (during the COVID-19 outbreak) to investigate the sleep status of residents nationwide in the form of an online questionnaire. Of the 8151 respondents, 6437 were eventually included in the analysis. Logistic regression is applied to analyze the associated factors affecting residents' sleep quality. RESULTS:During the COVID-19 outbreak, the incidence of sleep disturbances in residents was 17.65%. Increased risk of sleep disturbances was found to be associated with older age, female gender, and poor self-reported health status. Moreover, the odds ratios (ORs) were 1.42 (95% CI: 1.1-2.64), 1.35 (95% CI: 1.16-1.59), 5.59 (95% CI: 4.32-7.23), respectively. Those residents who believed COVID-19 had caused a high number of deaths or who thought COVID-19 was not easy to cure were more likely to experience sleep disorders, and the ORs were 1.73 (95% CI: 1.43-2.09), 1.57 (95% CI: 1.29-1.91), respectively. Regular exercise was a protective factor for sleep disturbances, OR = 0.77 (95% CI: 0.63-0.93). CONCLUSIONS:During the outbreak of COVID-19, nearly one-fifth of participants had sleep disorders. It is necessary to pay more attention to people at high risk for sleep disturbances during the outbreak, adopt effective risk communication methods, enhance residents' rational understanding of COVID-19, and develop practical indoor exercise programs for general public to improve sleep quality.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Risk communication (RC) is an essential tool for the prevention and control of diseases as it impacts risk perception, increases awareness and might change behaviour. It is the interactive exchange of information about risks among experts and people. Effective RC can minimize the impact that diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika have on populations. This study aimed to understand RC regarding vector-borne diseases in its social context and from the viewpoint of the audience to strengthen RC strategies in Curaçao. METHODS:In 2015, a cross-sectional mixed-method study applying focus group discussions (n = 7), in-depth interviews (n = 20) and a structured survey questionnaire (n = 339) was done in Curaçao. The study was designed based on the Health Belief Model and the Theory of Planned Behaviour. In addition, the Social Amplification of Risk Framework and the theory of cultural schemas were applied to understand RC in the social context. RESULTS:Television, radio and newspapers were the most important channels of information regarding dengue and chikungunya. Moreover, individuals also reported receiving information via social media, the internet and family/friends. Interestingly, the use of internet to obtain information diminished with age, while females were more likely to use internet compared to men. These key findings were statistically significant. An important outcome was that the risk perception towards chikungunya at the beginning of the outbreak was attenuated. This might be due to the (perceived) lack of RC before the epidemic. This same risk perception was amplified later during the outbreak by the increased exposure to information. Lastly, we show how cultural schemas influence people's perception regarding preventive measures and treatment of chikungunya and dengue. CONCLUSIONS:Data obtained emphasise the importance of understanding the user of media platforms and sharing information in a timely fashion through a transparent process with the content that convinces people of the seriousness of the matter.
Project description:Environmental insecurity is a source and outcome of biodiversity declines and social conflict. One challenge to scaling insecurity reduction policies is that empirical evidence about local attitudes is overwhelmingly missing. We set three objectives: determine how local people rank risk associated with different sources of environmental insecurity; assess perceptions of environmental insecurity, biodiversity exploitation, myths of nature and risk management preferences; and explore relationships between perceptions and biodiversity exploitation. We conducted interviews (N = 88) with residents of Madagascar's Torotorofotsy Protected Area, 2014. Risk perceptions had a moderate effect on perceptions of environmental insecurity. We found no effects of environmental insecurity on biodiversity exploitation. Results offer one if not the first exploration of local perceptions of illegal biodiversity exploitation and environmental security. Local people's perception of risk seriousness associated with illegal biodiversity exploitation such as lemur hunting (low overall) may not reflect perceptions of policy-makers (considered to be high). Discord is a key entry point for attention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Dengue fever is endemic in Malaysia, with frequent major outbreaks in urban areas. The major control strategy relies on health promotional campaigns aimed at encouraging people to reduce mosquito breeding sites close to people's homes. However, such campaigns have not always been 100% effective. The concept of self-efficacy is an area of increasing research interest in understanding how health promotion can be most effective. This paper reports on a study of the impact of self-efficacy on dengue knowledge and dengue preventive behaviour.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>We recruited 280 adults from 27 post-outbreak villages in the state of Terengganu, east coast of Malaysia. Measures of health promotion and educational intervention activities and types of communication during outbreak, level of dengue knowledge, level and strength of self-efficacy and dengue preventive behaviour were obtained via face-to-face interviews and questionnaires. A structural equation model was tested and fitted the data well (?(2) = 71.659, df = 40, p = 0.002, RMSEA = 0.053, CFI = 0.973, TLI = 0.963). Mass media, local contact and direct information-giving sessions significantly predicted level of knowledge of dengue. Level and strength of self-efficacy fully mediated the relationship between knowledge of dengue and dengue preventive behaviours. Strength of self-efficacy acted as partial mediator in the relationship between knowledge of dengue and dengue preventive behaviours.<h4>Conclusions</h4>To control and prevent dengue outbreaks by behavioural measures, health promotion and educational interventions during outbreaks should now focus on those approaches that are most likely to increase the level and strength of self-efficacy.
Project description:Dengue, a mosquito-borne febrile viral disease, is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Since the first occurrence of dengue was confirmed in Guangdong, China in 1978, dengue outbreaks have been reported sequentially in different provinces in South China transmitted by peridomestic Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, diplaying Ae. aegypti, a fully domestic vector that transmits dengue worldwide. Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization is a characteristic change in developing countries, which impacts greatly on vector habitat, human lifestyle and transmission dynamics on dengue epidemics. In September 2010, an outbreak of dengue was detected in Dongguan, a city in Guangdong province characterized by its fast urbanization. An investigation was initiated to identify the cause, to describe the epidemical characteristics of the outbreak, and to implement control measures to stop the outbreak. This is the first report of dengue outbreak in Dongguan, even though dengue cases were documented before in this city.Epidemiological data were obtained from local Center of Disease Control and prevention (CDC). Laboratory tests such as real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), the virus cDNA sequencing, and Enzyme-Linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were employed to identify the virus infection and molecular phylogenetic analysis was performed with MEGA5. The febrile cases were reported every day by the fever surveillance system. Vector control measures including insecticidal fogging and elimination of habitats of Ae. albopictus were used to control the dengue outbreak.The epidemiological studies results showed that this dengue outbreak was initiated by an imported case from Southeast Asia. The outbreak was characterized by 31 cases reported with an attack rate of 50.63 out of a population of 100,000. Ae. albopictus was the only vector species responsible for the outbreak. The virus cDNA sequencing analysis showed that the virus responsible for the outbreak was Dengue Virus serotype-1 (DENV-1).Several characterized points of urbanization contributed to this outbreak of dengue in Dongguan: the residents are highly concentrated; the residents' life habits helped to form the habitats of Ae. albopictus and contributed to the high Breteau Index; the self-constructed houses lacks of mosquito prevention facilities. This report has reaffirmed the importance of a surveillance system for infectious diseases control and aroused the awareness of an imported case causing the epidemic of an infectious disease in urbanized region.