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Knowledge and Knowledge Needs about Lyme Disease among Occupational and Recreational Users of the Outdoors


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health






St Pierre SE, Gould ON, Lloyd V


As the prevalence of Lyme disease increases across Canada, it is imperative that the educational needs of at-risk groups be identified. The current study compared the level of knowledge and the knowledge needs about Lyme disease among individuals that spend time outdoors for work and for recreational purposes. Between December 2018 and February 2019, a survey was distributed to outdoor organizations across New Brunswick, Canada. Within the current sample of 137 individuals, 36% spent time outdoors for their occupation and 64% for recreational activities. Results showed no significant difference between these groups with regard to their level of knowledge, perceived efficacy and performance of various methods of prevention, and educational needs. Overall, the entire sample reported a low level of knowledge about Lyme disease. Participants perceived each prevention behavior to be at least somewhat effective, and behaviors perceived to be more effective were more likely to be carried out, but the performance of the behaviors varied. The most frequently performed behaviors included wearing long pants and protective footwear. Participants identified several aspects of Lyme disease about which they would like to have more information. The findings call attention to the specific needs of at-risk groups that must be considered when developing educational interventions.



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