New publication: Livestock owners’ worry and fear of tick-borne diseases

By Maria Johansson, Atle Mysterud, and Anders Flykt in Parasites & Vectors. Open Access.



Recent global changes have led to an increase in distribution of ticks towards higher elevation and latitude in Europe and livestock are at increasing risk of contracting tick-borne diseases, but psychological aspects of how this affects human well-being are rarely assessed. Departing from the theory on emotional appraisal coming from psychology, this study investigates which factors that modulate worry and fear associated with the presence of ticks among livestock owners of sheep and/or cattle.


Survey data from 775 livestock owners in Norway were analysed by hierarchical multiple regression analysis with an index of fear of tick-borne diseases among livestock as the outcome variable.


Twenty-nine per cent of the livestock owners reported worry and fear of tick-borne diseases among their livestock. The model explained 35% of the variance in worry and fear. There was a weak association between estimated incidences of tick-borne diseases in livestock and livestock owners’ worry and fear. Whereas previous personal experience of ticks and tick-borne diseases in livestock, and the livestock owners’ appraisals of the situation were more strongly associated with relatively stronger feelings of worry and fear.


Livestock owners’ worry and fear of tick-borne diseases in livestock can partly be understood as their appraisals of perceived personal relevance of the presence of ticks, its potential negative implications for their daily life at large, and what potential they have to cope by different strategies to adapt or adjust to the situation.

Parasites & Vectors
Volume 13, Article number: 331 (2020)
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-020-04162-7
Publication webpage.

§ Maria Johansson, Atle Mysterud*, and Anders Flykt#

§ Environmental Psychology, Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

* Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

# Department of Psychology, Mid Sweden University, 831 25, Östersund, Sweden



Tags: Parasites & Vectors;
Published Aug. 26, 2020 12:53 PM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2021 9:33 AM