Nationwide study of factors associated with public's willingness to use home self-test kit for dengue fever in Malaysia.

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    • Abstract:
      Background: As there is no specific treatment for dengue, early detection and access to proper treatment may lower dengue fatality. Therefore, having new techniques for the early detection of dengue fever, such as the use of dengue test kit, is vitally important. The aims of the study were: 1) identify factors associated with acceptance of a home self-test kit for dengue fever if the dengue test is available to the public and 2) find out the characteristics of the test kits that influence the use of the dengue test kit.Methods: A national telephone survey was carried out with 2,512 individuals of the Malaysian public aged 18-60 years old. Individuals were contacted by random digit dialling covering the whole of Malaysia from February 2012 to June 2013.Results: From 2,512 participants, 6.1 % reported to have heard of the availability of the dengue home test kit and of these, 44.8 % expressed their intention to use the test kit if it was available. Multivariate logistic regressions indicated that participants with primary (OR: 0.65; 95 % CI: 0.43-0.89; p = 0.02, vs. tertiary educational level) and secondary educational levels (OR: 0.73; 95 % CI: 0.57-0.90; p = 0.01, vs. tertiary educational level) were less likely than participants with a tertiary educational level to use a home self-testing dengue kit for dengue if the kit was available. Participants with lower perceived barriers to dengue prevention (level of barriers 0-5) were less likely (OR: 0.67, 95 % CI: 0.53-0.85, p < 0.001, vs. higher perceived barriers) to use a home self-testing dengue kit for dengue if the kit was available compared to those with higher perceived barriers to dengue prevention (level of barriers 6-10). Participants with a lower total dengue fever knowledge score (range 0-22) were also less likely to use a home self-testing dengue kit for dengue if the kit was available (OR: 0.75; 95 % CI: 0.61-0.91, p = 0.001, vs. higher total dengue fever knowledge score) compared to those with a higher total dengue fever knowledge score (range 23-44). With response to characteristics of the test kit, participants indicated that ease of usability and easy to understand instructions were the most important factors influencing the decision to use the dengue home test kit; this was followed by the price of the test kit.Conclusions: The study highlights the need for provision of information to increase knowledge about the home self-testing dengue kit. Educational interventions should target people with low educational levels, those with lower dengue fever knowledge and those with lower perceived barriers to dengue prevention. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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