Presentation Title

Knowledge, Attitudes and Awareness of Lyme Disease in Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Time

3:10 PM

Location

Williams Family Room

Abstract

Lyme disease has become increasingly prominent, especially in the northeastern United States. Lyme disease is spread through tick bite, and can be prevented through personal protection behaviors, such as limiting time in tick-infested areas, wearing tick repellant and protective clothing, and performing regular tick checks. Incidence of the disease in Martha’s Vineyard has been consistently high, regardless of efforts to combat this, including educational programs, tick surveys, and discussions of culling the deer herd. This research project looks at the knowledge of Lyme disease among residents and visitors on Martha’s Vineyard and studies how often they utilize precautionary behaviors. This will help to show if knowledge of the disease affects the use of preventative behaviors. The research also examines if there is a difference in awareness and use of prevention behaviors between residents of and visitors to the island. The research was conducted through a quantitative survey, which had questions assessing awareness of Lyme disease, use of Lyme disease prevention behaviors, and demographic factors, with an experimental aspect to see if ordering of questions had any influence on respondents’ answers. The survey was administered to a convenience sample of individuals in predetermined locations across the island. This research can provide information on the awareness of Lyme disease in a place where it is a prevalent issue, which could further affect future public education about the disease.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Brendan Fisher

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Environmental Studies

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Secondary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Knowledge, Attitudes and Awareness of Lyme Disease in Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Lyme disease has become increasingly prominent, especially in the northeastern United States. Lyme disease is spread through tick bite, and can be prevented through personal protection behaviors, such as limiting time in tick-infested areas, wearing tick repellant and protective clothing, and performing regular tick checks. Incidence of the disease in Martha’s Vineyard has been consistently high, regardless of efforts to combat this, including educational programs, tick surveys, and discussions of culling the deer herd. This research project looks at the knowledge of Lyme disease among residents and visitors on Martha’s Vineyard and studies how often they utilize precautionary behaviors. This will help to show if knowledge of the disease affects the use of preventative behaviors. The research also examines if there is a difference in awareness and use of prevention behaviors between residents of and visitors to the island. The research was conducted through a quantitative survey, which had questions assessing awareness of Lyme disease, use of Lyme disease prevention behaviors, and demographic factors, with an experimental aspect to see if ordering of questions had any influence on respondents’ answers. The survey was administered to a convenience sample of individuals in predetermined locations across the island. This research can provide information on the awareness of Lyme disease in a place where it is a prevalent issue, which could further affect future public education about the disease.