Beyond the 'back yard': Lay knowledge about Aedes aegypti in northern Australia and its implications for policy and practice

McNaughton, Darlene, Clough, Alan, Johnson, Petrina, Ritchie, Scott and O'Neill, Scott (2010) Beyond the 'back yard': Lay knowledge about Aedes aegypti in northern Australia and its implications for policy and practice. Acta Tropica, 116 1: 74-80. doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2010.05.012


Author McNaughton, Darlene
Clough, Alan
Johnson, Petrina
Ritchie, Scott
O'Neill, Scott
Title Beyond the 'back yard': Lay knowledge about Aedes aegypti in northern Australia and its implications for policy and practice
Formatted title
Beyond the 'back yard': Lay knowledge about Aedes aegypti in northern Australia and its implications for policy and practice
Journal name Acta Tropica   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0001-706X
1873-6254
0365-1541
Publication date 2010-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.actatropica.2010.05.012
Volume 116
Issue 1
Start page 74
End page 80
Total pages 7
Editor K. Berzins
F. Guhl
J. Beier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified
060808 Invertebrate Biology
Formatted abstract
Controlling dengue fever in Australia and internationally, relies heavily upon the actions of residents as well as community education and awareness of the risks. Although it has been well established in medical anthropology that the success of health interventions is highly dependent upon a clear grasp of lay knowledge of disease, limited attention has been given to lay understandings of dengue fever and
its vectors in the extant literature. We begin addressing this hiatus through an examination of north Queensland residents’ knowledge of the breeding habitats of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Building on the insights of earlier social research, we use factor analysis to examine the results of a series of randomly selected telephone surveys and compare responses over time and between cities. Our analysis confirms that many people assume that Ae. aegypti is ubiquitous in the landscape, that it lives and breeds not only around the home, but also in a variety of geographical spaces located beyond the suburban ‘backyard’, and beyond the control of local residents. Lay understandings appear to be placing people at risk from dengue, influencing the mosquito management practices of local residents and acting as a source of resistance to public health messages that focus on individual responsibility. A way forward through the provision of new information that challenges key assumptions is provided in the discussion.
We argue that rather than dismissing lay understandings as ignorance, strategies, practices and policy based on a detailed understanding of this knowledge will mean that practitioners are better able to address these assumptions and will likely be more effective at educating the public of the risks posed by dengue.
© 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Keyword Lay knowledge
Folk understandings
Dengue fever
Aedes aegypti
Vector born disease
Medical anthropology
Febrile illnesses
Malaria control
Dengue control
Community
Fever
Population
Queensland
Prevention
Mosquitos
Container
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 12 Sep 2010, 00:08:28 EST