The effects of a behavioral change program in reducing the house index of mosquito larvae in households in Phetcabun province, Thailand
Introduction: The purpose of this quasi-experimental research was to study the effectiveness of a behavioral change program in reducing house index of mosquito in Village Baan-Wangpong, Lomsak district in Phetcabun province, Thailand.
Methods: The sample size of experimental and control group was 42 representatives of household in each group. Representatives of each sampled household were tested for knowledge, perception and behavioral practice in prevention of dengue fever before and after the program intervention. The program included training on dengue fever prevention by health personnel, demonstration of making mosquito repellents from local product, organising an awareness contest, broadcasting health messages through media and surveying households for mosquitoes’ larvae.
Results: The study found that most households in village Baan-Wangpong had low knowledge (60.4%), perceived risk (60.4%), perceived severity (64.6%) and behavioral practice (77.1%) in the prevention of dengue fever prior to the program, with comparability in intervention versus control. The results showed that after the program intervention, the experimental group had a significantly higher level of knowledge (p=0.001), perceived risk (p=0.042), perceived severity (p=0.002) and behavior (p=0.028) in preventing dengue fever than before the program intervention and higher than the control group post-intervention. The experimental group’s house index was also significantly (p=0.001) lower than before the program and lower than the control group post-intervention.
Conclusions: This study suggests that a proactive program about knowledge, perceptions and behaviors on prevention of dengue fever with support from public health personnel and community participation, can positively change health behavior, resulting in reducing the house index of mosquito larva.