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The contribution of risk perception and social norms to reported preventive behaviour against selected vector-borne diseases in Guyana

Lopes-Rafegas, Iris, Cox, Horace, Mora, Toni and Sicuri, Elisa ORCID: 0000-0002-2499-2732 (2023) The contribution of risk perception and social norms to reported preventive behaviour against selected vector-borne diseases in Guyana. Scientific Reports, 13 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41598-023-43991-1

Abstract

Preventing vector-borne diseases (VBDs) mainly relies on effective vector control tools and strategies, which in turn depend on population acceptance and adherence. Inspired by the abundant recent literature on SARS-COV-2, we investigate the relationship between risk perception and preventive behaviour for selected VBDs and the extent to which risk perception is determined by social norms. We use cross-sectional data collected from 497 individuals in four regions of Guyana in 2017. We use a conditional mixed process estimator with multilevel coefficients, estimated through a Generalized Linear Model (GLM) framework, applying a simultaneous equation structure. We find robust results on malaria: risk perception was significantly influenced by the risk perception of the reference group across different definitions of the reference group, hinting at the existence of social norms. Risk perception significantly increased the likelihood of passive behaviour by 4.48%. Less clear-cut results were found for dengue. This study applies quantitative social science methods to public health issues in the context of VBDs. Our findings point to the relevance of tailoring communications on health risks for VBDs to groups defined at the intersection of socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Such tailored strategies are expected to align risk perception among reference groups and boost preventive behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2023 10:27
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 17:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/120521

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