Community knowledge, health beliefs, practices and experiences related to dengue fever and its association with IgG seropositivity

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2014; 8: e2789


Wong LP, AbuBakar SChinna K


BACKGROUND: Demographic, economic and behavioural factors are central features underpinning the successful management and biological control of dengue. This study aimed to examine these factors and their association with the seroprevalence of this disease. METHODOLOGY: We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of households in a 3 km radius of the schools where we had conducted serological tests on the student population in a previous study. Households were surveyed about their socio-demographics, knowledge, practices, and Health Belief Model (HBM) constructs. The results were then associated with the prevalence rate of dengue in the community, as marked by IgG seropositivity of the students who attended school there. RESULTS: A total of 1,400 complete responses were obtained. The community's IgG seropositivity was significantly positively associated with high household monthly income, high-rise residential building type, high surrounding vegetation density, rural locality, high perceived severity and susceptibility, perceived barriers to prevention, knowing that a neighbour has dengue, frequent fogging and a higher level of knowledge about dengue. In the multivariate analyses, three major correlates of the presence of IgG seropositivity in the community: (1) high-rise residential apartment house type or condominium buildings; (2) the main construct of the HBM, perceived severity and susceptibility; and (3) the additional constructs of the HBM, lack of preventive measures from the community level and having a neighbour with dengue as a cue to action. Weak correlations were found between self-practices to prevent dengue and the level of dengue seropositivity in the community, and between HBM constructs and knowledge (r = 0.09). CONCLUSIONS: The residential environment factor and the constructs of the HBM are useful and important elements in developing interventions to prevent and control dengue. The study also sheds light on the importance of the need for approaches that ensure the translation of knowledge into practice.


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