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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


TORRES LOPEZ, Teresa M.; GUERRERO CORDERO, Joana Lizeth  and  SALAZAR ESTRADA, José Guadalupe. Cultural dimensions of dengue that help or hinder its prevention in Mexico. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.3, pp.197-203. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the cultural dimensions that might help or hinder dengue prevention in two Mexican localities having different experiences related to this disease. METHODS: A cognitive-cultural anthropological study was conducted involving the participation of 160 adults selected through purposeful sampling. The techniques of free lists and pile-sorting were used for investigating terms associated with the concept "dengue." A consensus analysis was carried out by the factoring of principal components, hierarchical cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling. RESULTS: Greater consensus was observed among participants from the population having more historical experience with dengue-Santiago Ixcuintla, Nayarit-as well as more structured cultural and complex dimensions than in Guadalajara. In the latter case, participants showed a more fragmented conception of dengue, with insufficient information on its symptoms, mechanisms of transmission, and vector reservoirs. Three cultural dimensions were identified as hindering dengue prevention: confusing and insufficient information, placing responsibility for prevention on other people or on public agencies, and excessive confidence in fumigation as a preventive measure. CONCLUSIONS: These obstacles will need to be taken into account in the design and implementation of future prevention campaigns, disseminating information that explains the risks of fumigation and the importance of citizens and authorities jointly participating in the search for a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the dengue problem.

Keywords : Dengue; dengue hemorrhagic fever; anthropology, cultural; cultural factors; qualitative research; Mexico.

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