Strengthening the perception-assessment tools for dengue prevention: A cross-sectional survey in a temperate region (Madeira, Portugal)

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Background: Community participation is mandatory in the prevention of Dengue outbreaks. Taking public views into account is crucial to guide more effective planning and quicker community participation in preventing campaigns. This study aims to assess community perceptions of Madeira population in order to explore their involvement in the A. aegypti's control and reinforce health-educational planning. Due to the lack of accurate methodologies for measuring perception, a new tool to assess the community's perceptions was built. Methods. A cross-sectional survey was performed in the Island's aegypti-infested area, exploring residents' perceptions regarding most critical community behaviour: aegypti-source reduction and their domestic aegypti-breeding sites. A novel tool defining five essential topics which underlie the source reduction's awareness and accession was built, herein called Essential-Perception EP analysis. Results: Of 1276 individuals, 1182 completed the questionnaire 92 · 6%. EP-Score analysis revealed that community's perceptions were scarce, inconsistent and possibly incorrect. Most of the population (99 · 6%) did not completely understood the five essential topics explored. An average of 54 · 2% of residents only partially understood each essential topic, revealing inconsistencies in their understanding. Each resident apparently believed in an average of four false assumptions/myths. Significant association (p

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2014


  • Aedes aegypti control
  • Awareness and perception assessment
  • Behavioural change models
  • Community involvement
  • Community perception
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Dengue prevention
  • Domestic breeding sites
  • Health education
  • Knowledge-attitudes-and-practices surveys


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