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Information sufficiency and the timing of precautions: the case of Lyme disease

Marcu, A, Barnett, J and Uzzell, D (2010) Information sufficiency and the timing of precautions: the case of Lyme disease In: 19th meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis, 2010-06-21 - 2010-06-23, London.

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Using the model of risk information seeking and processing (Griffin, Dunwoody, &amp; Neuwirth, 1999), the present survey investigated the information needs and the motivations for precautionary behaviour from the perspective of those who have been affected by Lyme disease, an infectious disease caused by ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Of the 130 Lyme disease patients (M age S.15) recruited via the Lyme disease unit at the HPA, 74.80% had heard of Lyme disease before contracting the disease, and of these, 59% were aware of precautions against tick bites. The patients‘ information sufficiency was predicted by their knowledge of Lyme disease, but this relationship was mediated by the belief that the risks of tick bites are well-known and controllable (Aroian‘s z =99, p < .05). Intentions for precautionary behaviour loaded on two factors, representing precautions before and after the visit to the countryside (e.g. covering sk! in vs. checking skin for ticks). Intentions for pre-precautions were related to worry and to the perceived severity of tick bites, as well as to information sufficiency: the less the patients felt they knew about their health condition, the more motivated they were to take precautions. The patients‘ preference for post visit precautions (Ms =10 vs. 3.34, t (1, 104) =82, p < .001) suggests that previous experience of risk can diminish perceptions of risk or, equally, that restorative environments such as the countryside can inhibit precautionary behaviour. The implications for risk communication will be discussed

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Marcu, A
Barnett, J
Uzzell, D
Date : 21 June 2010
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:06

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