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Assessing and Maximizing the Acceptability of Global Positioning System Device Use for Studying the Role of Human Movement in Dengue Virus Transmission in Iquitos, Peru

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  • 1 International Health and Development Department, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, California; Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; U.S. Navy Medical Research Center Detachment, Iquitos, Peru; Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, California

As use of global positioning system (GPS) technology to study disease transmission increases, it is important to assess possible barriers to its use from the perspective of potential study participants. Fifteen focus group discussions stratified by sex, age, and motherhood status were conducted in 2008 in Iquitos, Peru. All participants said they would accept using a GPS unit for study purposes for 2–4 weeks. Participants' main concerns included caring properly for the unit, whether the unit would audio/videotape them, health effects of prolonged use, responsibility for units, and confidentiality of information. A pilot study was then conducted in which 126 persons were asked to carry GPS units for 2–4 weeks; 98% provided consent. All persons used the units expressing minimal concerns, although 44% reported forgetting the device at least once. Our study is the first to highlight participant concerns related to use of GPS for long-term monitoring of individual behavior in a resource-limited setting.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Valerie A. Paz-Soldan, International Health and Development Department, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2200, New Orleans, LA 70112. E-mail: vpazsold@tulane.edu

Financial support: This study was supported by grant R01 AI069341-01 from the U.S. National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the Research and Policy in Infectious Disease Dynamics Program of the Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security; and the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health.

Disclosure: None of the authors has a financial or personal conflict of interest related to this study. The corresponding author had full access to all data in the study and final responsibility for the decision to submit this publication.

Copyright statement: Author Tadeusz J. Kochel is a U.S. military service member. This work was prepared as part of his official duties. Title 17 U.S.C. §105 provides that copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government. Title 17 U.S.C. §101 defines a U.S. Government work as a work prepared by a military service members or employees of the U.S. Government as part of those person's official duties.

Authors' addresses: Valerie A. Paz-Soldan, International Health and Development Department, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA. Steven T. Stoddard, Amy C. Morrison, and Thomas W. Scott, Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, CA. Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec and Uriel Kitron, Math and Science Center, Emory UInversity, Atlanta, GA. John P. Elder, School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. Tadeusz J. Kochel, U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Washington, DC.

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