Bed bugs: they are back! The role of the school nurse in bed bug management

Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ, USA.
NASN School Nurse 09/2012; 27(5):268-73. DOI: 10.1177/1942602X12456209
Source: PubMed


Recently there has been a resurgence of bed bugs in all facets of our society. Bed bugs have even been found in schools, causing unnecessary exclusion of students and unfounded hysteria. School nurses are again called upon to be front-line sources of information to quell the hysteria and confusion related to this unsavory condition. By arming themselves with the best evidence regarding proper identification of bed bugs and their bites and information about integrated prevention measures to control transmission of infestations, school nurses can contribute to the control and management of bed bugs and aid in the overall battle against this "new and improved" invasion of the bed bugs.

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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a scoping review to identify and summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the mental health effects associated with bed bugs. We employed a five-stage scoping review framework, to systematically identify and review eligible articles. Eligibility criteria included a focus on bed bug infestations and reference to mental health impacts. Descriptive information was then extracted from each article, including the specific mental health effects cited. An initial search yielded 920 unique articles on the topic of bed bugs. Of these, 261 underwent abstract review, and 167 underwent full-text review. Full-text review and subsequent review of reference lists yielded a final sample of 51 articles. Numerous mental health effects were linked to bed bug infestations, including severe psychiatric symptoms. However, the majority (n = 31) of the articles were commentary papers; only five original research articles were identified. Although significant mental health effects are often linked to bed bugs, such discussions remain largely anecdotal. Despite recognition that the impact of bed bugs constitutes an important public health concern, little empirical evidence currently exists on this topic.
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