A qualitative study to explore farmworkers’ knowledge, beliefs and preventive practices toward ticks and tick-borne diseases

  • Masoumeh Ghane Kisomi Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Li Ping Wong Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Sun Tee Tay Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Awang Bulgiba Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Malaysia, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62630 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Keywords: Tick bites, Tick-borne diseases, Farmworkers, Prevention, Qualitative research, Malaysia

Abstract

Introduction: Farmworkers are considered a high-risk group for tick-borne diseases (TBDs). This qualitative study aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of the farmworkers’ experience, knowledge, health beliefs, information needs, and preventive practices of tick bites and TBDs.

Methodology: A total of nine focus group discussions with 56 farmworkers across eight animal farms in Peninsular Malaysia were conducted between August and October 2013.

Results: Farmworkers explained their experience of tick bites, but no one reported TBDs. Many farmworkers indicated that they did not seek any medical treatment. There was a misconception that ticks are solely pathogenic to farm animals. Farmworkers perceived low severity and susceptibility of tick bites, and low self-efficacy of tick bite prevention, however, a group also perceived susceptibility to getting tick bites due to the characteristics of their job. Barriers for prevention were related to the perception and knowledge towards ticks. Farmworkers requested information about TBDs.

Conclusions: This study of farmworkers identified gaps in the knowledge of TBDs, barriers of the tick bite preventive measures and information needs. These findings suggest a need for education programs to improve the knowledge of ticks and TBDs, change health beliefs and address the barriers of tick bite preventive measures.

Published
2019-12-31
How to Cite
1.
Ghane Kisomi M, Wong LP, Tay ST, Bulgiba A, Nizam QNH (2019) A qualitative study to explore farmworkers’ knowledge, beliefs and preventive practices toward ticks and tick-borne diseases. J Infect Dev Ctries 13:1117-1126. doi: 10.3855/jidc.11668
Section
Original Articles