Preventing Zoonoses: Testing an Intervention to Change Attitudes and Behaviors toward More Protective Actions

Mariëlle Stel*, Nicole Banach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Zoonotic outbreaks are considered one of the most important threats to public health. Therefore, it is important to educate people on how to prevent zoonotic infections. The purpose of this research was to investigate an intervention aimed at changing people’s attitudes and behaviors toward more protective actions. In two studies (NStudy 1 = 402; NStudy 2 = 706), participants received an intervention based on previous literature in which knowledge about zoonoses, protective actions they could take, and a fear appeal were provided. In the control condition, no intervention was given. Subsequently, we measured participants’ risk knowledge, attitudes and behavioral intentions to reduce zoonotic risks, and fear. The results showed that the intervention heightened participants’ zoonotic knowledge and affected their attitudes and behavioral intentions (Studies 1 and 2) and a behavioral decision (Study 2) to reduce zoonotic risks. Moreover, our designed intervention proved more effective than the World Health Organization informative message on zoonoses (Study 2). In terms of theory, this is the first experimental demonstration that a general zoonotic risk communication message changed attitudes and behaviors toward more protective actions. In terms of policy, this research showed that a basic information message for the broader public has the potential to reduce zoonotic risks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6987
Number of pages18
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume20
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Zoonones
  • Risk kwowledge
  • Health communication
  • Attitudes
  • Behavior Change
  • Protective Behavior
  • Animals
  • Public Health
  • Disease prevention

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Preventing Zoonoses: Testing an Intervention to Change Attitudes and Behaviors toward More Protective Actions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this