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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2505; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112505

Using Risk Communication Strategies for Zika Virus Prevention and Control Driven by Community-Based Participatory Research

1
Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, P.O. Box 365067, San Juan, PR 00936-5067, USA
2
Community Leader, Manuel A. Pérez Public Housing, Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR 00936-5067, USA
3
Department of Health Services Administration, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, P.O. Box 365067, San Juan, PR 00936-5067, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract

Background: In this study, we use community-based participatory processes to engage community and academic partners in a meaningful exchange to identify and pilot test risk communication strategies for Zika virus prevention and control. Methods: Community members were actively involved in planning, developing, and implementing a risk communication initiative. Qualitative and quantitative data gathered through individual interviews, focus groups, and community advisory board input provided information for the identification of relevant risk communication strategies to increase the understanding about Zika virus and to promote behavior change. To examine its impact we obtained baseline and follow-up data from a random sample of 75 community residents. A face-to-face interview was conducted to assess community members’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding Zika virus infection. Results: Study activities focused on three risk communication strategies: Zika awareness health fair, health education through theater, and community forums and workshops. The risk communication initiative was implemented over a two-month period. Findings from baseline and follow-up data demonstrated significant positive changes in respondents’ recognition of personal and community responsibility for the prevention of Zika infection, increased knowledge of prevention strategies, and enhanced engagement in preventive behaviors for mosquito control. Conclusion: Our findings sustain the benefits of community based participatory research for the design and implementation of risk communication strategies that are relevant to enable residents in low-income communities to take informed decisions for the protection against Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: Zika; community-based participatory research; risk communication Zika; community-based participatory research; risk communication
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Juarbe-Rey, D.; Pérez, A.O.; Santoni, R.P.C.P.; Ramírez, M.R.; Vera, M. Using Risk Communication Strategies for Zika Virus Prevention and Control Driven by Community-Based Participatory Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2505.

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