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Understanding the role of disease knowledge and risk perception in shaping preventive behavior for selected vector-borne diseases in Guyana

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dc.contributor.author Aerts, Céline
dc.contributor.author Revilla, Melanie
dc.contributor.author Duval, Laetitia
dc.contributor.author Paaijmans, Krijn
dc.contributor.author Chandrabose, Javin
dc.contributor.author Cox, Horace
dc.contributor.author Sicuri, Elisa
dc.date.accessioned 2021-03-15T08:14:44Z
dc.date.available 2021-03-15T08:14:44Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.citation Aerts C, Revilla M, Duval L, Paaijmans K, Chandrabose J, Cox H, Sicuri E. Understanding the role of disease knowledge and risk perception in shaping preventive behavior for selected vector-borne diseases in Guyana. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Apr 6;14(4):e0008149. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008149
dc.identifier.issn 1935-2727
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/46768
dc.description.abstract Background: Individual behavior, particularly choices about prevention, plays a key role in infection transmission of vector-borne diseases (VBDs). Since the actual risk of infection is often uncertain, individual behavior is influenced by the perceived risk. A low risk perception is likely to diminish the use of preventive measures (behavior). If risk perception is a good indicator of the actual risk, then it has important implications in a context of disease elimination. However, more research is needed to improve our understanding of the role of human behavior in disease transmission. The objective of this study is to explore whether preventive behavior is responsive to risk perception, taking into account the links with disease knowledge and controlling for individuals’ socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. More specifically, the study focuses on malaria, dengue fever, Zika and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), using primary data collected in Guyana–a key country for the control and/or elimination of VBDs, given its geographic location. Methods and findings: The data were collected between August and December 2017 in four regions of the country. Questions on disease knowledge, risk perception and self-reported use of preventive measures were asked to each participant for the four diseases. A structural equation model was estimated. It focused on data collected from private households only in order to control for individuals’ socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, which led to a sample size of 497 participants. The findings showed evidence of a bidirectional association between risk perception and behavior. A one-unit increase in risk perception translated into a 0.53 unit increase in self-reported preventive behavior for all diseases, while a one-unit increase in self-reported preventive behavior (i.e. the use of an additional measure) led to a 0.46 unit decrease in risk perception for all diseases (except CL). This study also showed that higher education significantly improves knowledge and that better knowledge increases the take up of preventive measures for malaria and dengue, without affecting risk perception. Conclusions: In trying to reach elimination, it appears crucial to promote awareness of the risks and facilitate access to preventive measures, so that lower risk perception does not translate into lower preventive behavior.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS)
dc.relation.ispartof PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Apr 6;14(4):e0008149
dc.rights © 2020 Aerts et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.title Understanding the role of disease knowledge and risk perception in shaping preventive behavior for selected vector-borne diseases in Guyana
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008149
dc.subject.keyword Medical Risk Factors
dc.subject.keyword Malaria
dc.subject.keyword Dengue fever
dc.subject.keyword Guyana
dc.subject.keyword Infectious Disease Control
dc.subject.keyword Zika fever
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/642609
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion


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