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Contextual and psychosocial factors predicting Ebola prevention behaviours using the RANAS approach to behaviour change in Guinea-Bissau


Gamma, Anna E; Slekiene, Jurgita; von Medeazza, Gregor; Asplund, Fredrik; Cardoso, Placido; Mosler, Hans-Joachim (2017). Contextual and psychosocial factors predicting Ebola prevention behaviours using the RANAS approach to behaviour change in Guinea-Bissau. BMC Public Health, 17(1):446.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa in December 2013 was the largest Ebola outbreak in history. This study aimed to measure the underlying contextual and psychosocial factors of intentions to perform Ebola prevention behaviours (not touching people who might be suffering from Ebola, reporting suspected cases to the National Ebola Hotline, NEH) in Guinea-Bissau. Geographical location, cross-border market activities, poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions, and burial practices in some communities pose a serious risk in terms of potential EVD outbreak and seriously hamper its prevention in Guinea-Bissau.

METHODS: In July and August 2015, quantitative data from 1369 respondents were gathered by structured face-to-face interviews. The questionnaire was based on the psychosocial factors of the RANAS (risks, attitudes, norms, abilities, and self-regulation) model. Data were analyzed by multiple linear regression analyses.

RESULTS: The most important predictors for the intention to call the NEH were believing that calling the Hotline would help the infected person, perceiving that important members from the household approve of calling the Hotline, thinking that calling the Hotline is something they should do, and believing that it is important to call the Hotline to report a suspected case. For the intention not to touch someone who might be suffering from Ebola, the most important predictors were health knowledge, the perception of risk with regard to touching a person who might be suffering from Ebola, and the belief that they were able not to touch a possibly infected person. Age in years was the only significant contextual predictor for one of the two behavioural intentions, the intention to call the Hotline. It seems that younger people are more likely to use a service like the NEH than older people.

CONCLUSIONS: Strengths and gaps were identified in the study population in relation to the intention to perform prevention behaviours. These call for innovative ways of aligning existing hygiene programs with relevant psychosocial factors. This research is relevant to further outbreaks of contagious diseases as it sheds light on important aspects of the impact of public health interventions during emergencies and epidemics.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa in December 2013 was the largest Ebola outbreak in history. This study aimed to measure the underlying contextual and psychosocial factors of intentions to perform Ebola prevention behaviours (not touching people who might be suffering from Ebola, reporting suspected cases to the National Ebola Hotline, NEH) in Guinea-Bissau. Geographical location, cross-border market activities, poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions, and burial practices in some communities pose a serious risk in terms of potential EVD outbreak and seriously hamper its prevention in Guinea-Bissau.

METHODS: In July and August 2015, quantitative data from 1369 respondents were gathered by structured face-to-face interviews. The questionnaire was based on the psychosocial factors of the RANAS (risks, attitudes, norms, abilities, and self-regulation) model. Data were analyzed by multiple linear regression analyses.

RESULTS: The most important predictors for the intention to call the NEH were believing that calling the Hotline would help the infected person, perceiving that important members from the household approve of calling the Hotline, thinking that calling the Hotline is something they should do, and believing that it is important to call the Hotline to report a suspected case. For the intention not to touch someone who might be suffering from Ebola, the most important predictors were health knowledge, the perception of risk with regard to touching a person who might be suffering from Ebola, and the belief that they were able not to touch a possibly infected person. Age in years was the only significant contextual predictor for one of the two behavioural intentions, the intention to call the Hotline. It seems that younger people are more likely to use a service like the NEH than older people.

CONCLUSIONS: Strengths and gaps were identified in the study population in relation to the intention to perform prevention behaviours. These call for innovative ways of aligning existing hygiene programs with relevant psychosocial factors. This research is relevant to further outbreaks of contagious diseases as it sheds light on important aspects of the impact of public health interventions during emergencies and epidemics.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Language:English
Date:15 May 2017
Deposited On:30 Mar 2020 12:10
Last Modified:11 May 2020 19:48
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4360-2
PubMed ID:28506274

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