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Raude Jocelyn, Peretti-Watel P., Ward J., Flamand C., Verger P. (2018). Are perceived prevalences of infection also biased and how ? Lessons from large epidemics of mosquito-borne diseases in tropical regions. Medical Decision Making, 38 (3), 377-389. ISSN 0272-989X

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Are perceived prevalences of infection also biased and how ? Lessons from large epidemics of mosquito-borne diseases in tropical regions
Année de publication2018
Type de documentArticle référencé dans le Web of Science WOS:000429896800008
AuteursRaude Jocelyn, Peretti-Watel P., Ward J., Flamand C., Verger P.
SourceMedical Decision Making, 2018, 38 (3), p. 377-389. ISSN 0272-989X
RésuméBackground. Although people are likely to underestimate the frequencies of risks to health from common diseases and overestimate those from rare diseases, we still do not know much about reasons for this systematic bias, which is also referred to as primary bias in the literature. In this study, we take advantage of a series of large epidemics of mosquito-borne diseases to examine the accuracy of judgments of risk frequencies. In this aim, we assessed the perceived v. observed prevalence of infection by Zika, chikungunya or dengue fever during these outbreaks, as well as their variations among different subpopulations and epidemiological settings. Methods. We used data drawn from 4 telephone surveys, conducted between 2006 and 2016, among representative samples of the adult population in tropical regions (Reunion, Martinique, and French Guiana). The participants were asked to estimate the prevalence of these infections by using a natural frequency scale. Results. The surveys showed that 1) most people greatly overestimated the prevalence of infection by arbovirus, 2) these risk overestimations fell considerably as the actual prevalence of these diseases increased, 3) the better-educated and male participants consistently yielded less inaccurate risk estimates across epidemics, and 4) these biases in the perception of prevalence of these infectious diseases are relatively well predicted by the probability weighting function developed in the field of behavioral decision making. Conclusions. These findings suggest that the primary bias, which has been found in laboratory experiments to characterize a variety of probabilistic judgments, equally affects perception of prevalence of acute infectious diseases in epidemic settings. They also indicate that numeracy may play a considerable role in people's ability to transform epidemiological observations from their social environment to more accurate risk estimates.
Plan de classementEntomologie médicale / Parasitologie / Virologie [052]
LocalisationFonds IRD [F B010072751]
Identifiant IRDfdi:010072751
Lien permanenthttp://www.documentation.ird.fr/hor/fdi:010072751

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