Background: The number of cases of tick-borne diseases in humans is increasing rapidly within Illinois. The responsibility for increased surveillance of tick-borne disease cases and tick vectors is being placed on local health departments throughout the United States, but they often lack the funding, time, and/or training needed to perform said surveillance. The aims of this study were to develop, deliver, and determine the effectiveness of tick surveillance training workshops for local health department employees within Illinois. Methods: We developed and delivered in-person training at local health department offices in each of six Illinois Department of Public Health Environmental Health Regions between April–May of 2019. Pre-, post-, and six-month follow-up questionnaires on knowledge, attitudes, and practices with regards to tick surveillance were administered to training participants. Paired student’s t-test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to compare knowledge, attitudes, and practices scores between questionnaires with Cohen’s d being used to calculate effect sizes associated with t-tests. McNemar’s and McNemar-Bowker tests were used to evaluate individual questions. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to evaluate the relationship between knowledge, attitudes, and practices at pre-, post-, and six-month follow-up. Results: Seventy-six employees from 40 local health departments that represent 44% (45/102) of Illinois counties attended at least one training workshop. Of these attendees, 81.5% (62/76) participated in at least one survey, 79% (60/76) in the in-person pre-training survey, 74% (56/76) in the in-person post-training survey, and 22% (17/76) in the online six-month follow-up survey. The average knowledge score was significantly increased by 8.21 (95% CI:7.28–9.14) points from pre-training to post-training. The average overall attitude score significantly increased by 5.29 (95% CI: 3.91–6.66) points from pre- to post-training. There were no significant differences in practice scores. Conclusions: Our study found the training was effective in increasing the knowledge of ticks, tick-borne diseases, and surveillance as well as promoting positive attitudes related to surveillance. While the training, by itself, was not associated with increases in surveillance practices, we were able to empower local public health officials with the knowledge and positive attitudes needed to enact change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number215
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Knowledge attitudes practices (KAP) survey
  • Local public health
  • Tick surveillance
  • Tick-borne disease surveillance
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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