Modeling Insect-Repellent Use for Chikungunya Disease Prevention Among US-Caribbean Travelers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

2 Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sports Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA


Introduction: This study examined the relationship between specific psychosocial variables and the use of insect repellents on skin or clothing as a preventive behavior for Chikungunya fever among US travelers to Caribbean destinations.
Methods: A cross-sectional retrospective online survey method was adopted. US residents who travelled to one of 34 Caribbean destinations within the past 12 months and expressed an awareness of Chikungunya fever were invited to participate in this study. Sociodemographic variables, perceived response efficacy, perceived self-efficacy, perceived Chikungunya severity and susceptibility, and self-reported use of insect repellents were investigated.
Results: Results of direct logistic regression analysis revealed a significant association between higher levels of education and the odds of self-reported use of insect repellent on skin or clothing among study participants. Among the proximal Chikungunya-related variables, hierarchical binary logistic regression revealed a significant association between scores on perceived response efficacy, perceived self-efficacy, and perceived severity of self-reported use of insect repellents. These results support the existence of a hierarchical relationship between the more proximal Chikungunya-related variables and self-reported use of insect repellents as a personal protective measure (PPM).
Conclusion: The findings of the current study have important implications for health communication messaging aimed at reducing the spread of Chikungunya among US travelers to Caribbean destinations. It seems essential to establish the use of insect repellent on skin and clothing as a personal preventive measure against Chikungunya disease within an educational context, framed along the lines of Chikungunya severity, response efficacy, and self-efficacy, for US travelers to destinations with a high risk of exposure to Chikungunya disease-carrying mosquitoes.


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