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Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601

  • Borne Diseases


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.

Study summary:

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 skateboard accidents. 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.


Inclusion Criteria: - Ferry passengers traveling to Nantucket Island Exclusion Criteria: - Foreign (non-U.S.) residence



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Matthew H. Liang, MD, MPH
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source:

Date Processed: March 26, 2020

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