"It's effective but should I bother?" A study of personal protection measures against malaria in urban India
Lwin, May Oo
Date of Issue2014
Centre of Social Media Innovations for Communities (COSMIC)
OBJECTIVES: Malaria affects millions of people in urban and rural India every year. This study addresses two main gaps in current research: 1) attitudes towards personal protective strategies against Malaria among urban populations; and 2) understanding of the extent to which urban health information seeking preferences shape preventive behaviours. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional face-to-face surveys using stratified sampling design. METHODS: A 60-min survey was carried out to 1000 middle-of-pyramid (MOP) population in five main cities in India by trained interviewers. Variables assessed included perceived effectiveness and actual practice of 14 scientific and indigenous personal protection methods, Malaria-related attitudes (susceptibility, severity and response efficacy) and health information seeking preferences. RESULTS: Actual practice of Malaria preventive behaviours was found to be significantly lower than the perceived effectiveness of each of the fourteen scientific and indigenous methods. Television, newspapers, and mobile phones were reported as the top three preferred media for seeking public health information. Lastly, perceived susceptibility, response efficacy, and health-related media use were found to play significant roles in predicting actual practice behaviours. CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights a need for health authorities to focus on translating positive attitudes to actual practice of preventive behaviours. Communication efforts may focus on the use of TV, newspapers and mobile phones for greater reach and efficacy. Other implications for Malaria prevention programs are discussed.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Mass media
© 2014 Elsevier. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Public Health, Elsevier. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2014.03.008].