This is a large study of an educational program on Lyme disease prevention for passengers on
ferry boats going to Nantucket Island during the period from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Some boats provide passengers with the experimental program and the other boats provide a
"control" program that the researchers can compare to the experimental program. The
experimental program uses live performances by entertainers to teach people about Lyme
disease prevention, and also uses additional printed materials. People on the control boats
receive education on injury prevention and road safety while bicycling, rollerblading, and
using mopeds. The main result we will look for is Lyme disease identified by a followup
survey and confirmed by reviewing medical records. We will also ask some people to take part
in a smaller study of behavior change. In this study, we will ask people to complete forms
on self-efficacy (a person's belief in his or her ability to reach a certain goal), their
plans to take preventive steps, and actual prevention behaviors. We also ask participants
who report doctor visits or illness to provide confirmation of their use of health services.
This is a large, randomized trial of a Lyme disease primary prevention program for
passengers on ferry boats going to Nantucket Island for the period from Memorial Day until
Labor Day. Boats are randomized to experimental or control interventions.
The experimental intervention is a performance-based educational program on Lyme disease
prevention, and uses supplemental materials. An entertainment troupe delivers the
intervention using comedy, theater, and vaudevillian techniques. The entertainers present
three shows in different locations on the boat. Each show is about 10 minutes and covers the
severity and likelihood of acquiring Lyme disease and the benefits of tick avoidance and
search and removal behaviors. When people on experimental boats enroll in the study they
receive the following free materials: a wallet-sized tick ID card, a laminated shower card
with tick-removal instructions, a map showing tick habitats, a tick-feeling card, and an
educational pamphlet. Control boats do not have performers. Participants on control boats
receive education on road safety and injury prevention from rollerblade, bicycle, and
We will collect baseline data at enrollment, including name, address, demographics,
resident/visitor status, length of stay on island, frequency of exposure to tick areas,
history of tick-transmitted disease, and exposure to intervention. We will enroll a random
subsample of participants in a study of behavior, and will ask them additional questions on
self-efficacy, intention to perform prevention behaviors and attitude about or social
support for practicing prevention behaviors while on the island.
We will follow people in the behavioral subsample at 1 week to find out their actual
behaviors. We will follow all subjects at 2 months to find out self-reported disease status.
We ask persons reporting a visit to an M.D. for illness to mail a form to their physician
for confirmation of diagnosis and to provide information about health-care use. The main
outcome is Lyme disease. Intermediate outcomes include change in self-efficacy, behavioral
intention, and health behaviors.
- Ferry passengers traveling to Nantucket Island
- Foreign (non-U.S.) residence