Contexts motivating protective behaviours related to Aedes-borne infectious diseases in Curaçao

Vaitiare Mulderij-Jansen*, Izzy Gerstenbluth, Ashley Duits, Adriana Tami, Ajay Bailey

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti, the vector of arboviral diseases such as dengue and Zika virus infections, is difficult to control. Effective interventions must be practicable, comprehensive, and sustained. There is evidence that community participation can enhance mosquito control. Therefore, countries are encouraged to develop and integrate community-based approaches to mosquito control to mitigate Aedes-borne infectious diseases (ABIDs). Health professionals must understand the contexts motivating individuals' behaviour to improve community participation and promote behavioural change. Therefore, this study aimed to determine how contexts shaped individuals' protective behaviours related to ABIDs in Curaçao.

METHODS: From April 2019 to September 2020, a multi-method qualitative study applying seven (n = 54) focus group discussions and twenty-five in-depth interviews with locals was performed in Curaҫao. The study was designed based on the Health Belief Model (HBM). Two cycles of inductive and deductive coding were employed, and Nvivo software was used to manage and analyse the data.

RESULTS: In this study, low media coverage (external cue to action) and limited experience with the symptoms of ABIDs (internal cue to action) were linked with a low perceived susceptibility and severity of ABIDs (low perceived threat). The low perceived threat was linked with reduced health-seeking behaviour (HSB) to prevent and control ABIDs. We also found that the perceived barriers outweigh the perceived benefits of ABID prevention and control interventions, obstructing HSB. On the one hand, insufficient knowledge reduced self-efficacy but contrary to expected, having good knowledge did not promote HSB. Lastly, we found that our participants believe that they are responsible for preventing ABIDs (internal locus of control) but at the same time indicated that their success depends on the efforts of the community and the health system (external locus of control).

CONCLUSIONS: This study used the HBM to explain individual changes in HSB concerning ABIDs prevention and control in Curaçao. We can conclude that the perceived threat (perceived susceptibility and severity) and perceived barriers played an essential role in changing HSB. Health professionals must consider these two concepts' implications when designing a bottom-up approach for ABIDs control; otherwise, community participation will remain minimal.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftBMC Public Health
StatusPublished - 5-sep.-2023


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