Online Program

Breaching the rise in tick-borne diseases through sustainable education methods

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jenna Kiridly, Department of Public health / Board of Health- Marion, Department of Public Health Massachusetts, Jamaica Plain, MA
  Massachusetts has the fifth highest incidence rate of Lyme disease in the United States. (Tick Talk, 2015)  To combat the rising incidence of tick-borne diseases for the areas of Bristol and Plymouth County a program that focuses on education and the importance of vigilance and personal protection, which is both sustainable and generalizable to all age groups, was developed.  

  The Health Belief Model was used to develop and promote an educational campaign regarding tick-borne diseases. Using a validated survey (Middleton, 2005), counselors and campers were surveyed to ascertain prior knowledge of tick borne diseases and personal protective measures.  A multimedia educational presentation was given on general tick information and personal protection techniques. Age appropriate educational materials and presentations for younger audiences were created as educational tools.

   Preliminary results showed that all counselors had some knowledge of Lyme disease, however none knew of other tick-borne diseases. 73% of counselors between ages 14-21 had some prior education about ticks, and knew someone who had a tick borne disease; 36% reported being bitten by a tick.  Assessment of current practices revealed 36% used tick repellent and 18% wore light colored clothing.  All counselors expressed interest in adopting the preventative techniques presented and willingness to disseminate information using the educational tools given. Empowering audiences with the ability to educate others and providing the resources to do so is an important part of creating a sustainable educational program, which will increase vigilance and work towards reducing incidence of tick borne diseases within the area.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the efficacy of the multi-media presentation and educational tools developed in creating a sustainable and generalizable platform for educating about tick-borne diseases.

Keyword(s): Peer Education, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, interning with the Department of Public Health in Massachusetts. I am currently studying epidemiology focusing on chronic and infectious diseases. Among my interests are the development of community based education programs to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, particularly tick-borne diseases.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.