Article

Compliance With a Multilayered Nonpharmaceutical Intervention in an Urban Elementary School Setting

Center for Public Health Preparedness, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Journal of public health management and practice: JPHMP (Impact Factor: 1.47). 07/2010; 16(4):316-24. DOI: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181cb4368
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent school-aged children can learn hygiene-based nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and persist in these behavioral changes over the duration of an influenza season. If this can be done successfully, it may be a preferable pandemic mitigation strategy to much more disruptive strategies such as whole-scale school closure.
The Pittsburgh Influenza Prevention Project (PIPP) is a prospective, controlled, randomized trial of the effectiveness of a suite of hygiene-based NPIs in controlling influenza and related illnesses in elementary schools in the City of Pittsburgh. During the 2007-08 school year, the project measured adoption of NPIs by students in five elementary schools through surveys of home-room teachers before, during, and after influenza season.
Results showed highly statistically significant improvement in students' daily practice of nearly all of the NPIs, including hand washing and sanitizer use and covering coughs and sneezes.
The study provides evidence that children can learn, implement, and persist in the behaviors of a multilayered suite of NPIs over a typical flu season. These results will be useful to public health policy makers and practitioners considering methods of infectious disease prevention in school-based settings.

Full-text

Available from: Charles J Vukotich, Apr 21, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
85 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this paper was to develop a prognostic index for severe complications among hospitalized patients with influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus infection. We conducted a prospective observational cohort study of 618 inpatients with 2009 H1N1 virus infection admitted to 36 Spanish hospitals between July 2009 and February 2010. Risk factors evaluated included host-related factors and clinical data at admission. We developed a composite index of severe in-hospital complications (SIHC), which included: mortality, mechanical ventilation, septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and requirement for resuscitation maneuvers. Six factors were independently associated with SIHC: age >45 years, male sex, number of comorbidities, pneumonia, dyspnea, and confusion. From the β parameter obtained in the multivariate model, a weight was assigned to each factor to compute the individual influenza risk score. The score shows an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.77. The SIHC rate was 1.9 % in the low-risk group, 10.3 % in the intermediate-risk group, and 29.6 % in the high-risk group. The odds ratio for complications was 21.8 for the high-risk group compared with the low-risk group. This easy-to-score influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus infection risk index accurately stratifies patients hospitalized for H1N1 virus infection into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups for SIHC.
    European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 04/2012; 31(10):2693-2701. DOI:10.1007/s10096-012-1616-8 · 2.54 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Illness-related absences have been shown to lead to negative educational and economic outcomes. Both hand washing and hand sanitizer interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing illness-related absences. However, while the importance of hand hygiene in schools is clear, the role of instruction in use is less obvious. The purpose of this study was to compare absenteeism rates among elementary students given access to hand hygiene facilities versus students given both access and short repetitive instruction in use, particularly during influenza season when illness-related absences are at a peak. A hand hygiene intervention was implemented from October to May during the 2009/2010 academic year, including peak flu season, in two Chicago Public Elementary Schools among students grades pre-kindergarten to eighth grade (ages 4-14). Classrooms were systematically assigned to an intervention or control group by grade (cluster design). Hand hygiene facilities (sanitizer and soap) were made available to all students. Students in the intervention group also received short repetitive instruction in hand hygiene every 2 months. Only absences as a result of respiratory or gastrointestinal illness were used to establish illness-related absenteeism rates. Percent absent days were calculated and bivariate analyses were performed to compare percent absent days among students given access to hand hygiene facilities versus students given both access and instruction. Prior to the intervention, teachers' perceptions of students' hand hygiene were also evaluated. Teacher perceptions were analysed to describe attitudes and beliefs. Data were collected and analysed for 773 students reporting 1,886 absences during the study period (1.73% of total school days). Both the percent total absent days and percent illness-related absent days were significantly lower in the group receiving short instruction during flu season (P = 0.002, P < 0.001, respectively). This difference peaked during the influenza season (when intervention began) and declined in the following months. Teachers (n = 23) agreed that hand hygiene is not performed properly among students and reported time constraints as a barrier to frequent hand washing. Adding hand hygiene instruction to existing hand hygiene practices improved attendance at public elementary schools during the flu season. Standardized and brief repetitive instruction in hand hygiene holds potential to significantly reduce absenteeism.
    BMC Pediatrics 05/2012; 12:52. DOI:10.1186/1471-2431-12-52 · 1.92 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Laboratory-based evidence is lacking regarding the efficacy of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as alcohol-based hand sanitizer and respiratory hygiene to reduce the spread of influenza. The Pittsburgh Influenza Prevention Project was a cluster-randomized trial conducted in 10 elementary schools in Pittsburgh, PA, during the 2007 to 2008 influenza season. Children in 5 intervention schools received training in hand and respiratory hygiene, and were provided and encouraged to use hand sanitizer regularly. Children in 5 schools acted as controls. Children with influenza-like illness were tested for influenza A and B by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. A total of 3360 children participated in this study. Using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, 54 cases of influenza A and 50 cases of influenza B were detected. We found no significant effect of the intervention on the primary study outcome of all laboratory-confirmed influenza cases (incidence rate ratio [IRR]: 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.54, 1.23). However, we did find statistically significant differences in protocol-specified ancillary outcomes. Children in intervention schools had significantly fewer laboratory-confirmed influenza A infections than children in control schools, with an adjusted IRR of 0.48 (95% CI: 0.26, 0.87). Total absent episodes were also significantly lower among the intervention group than among the control group; adjusted IRR 0.74 (95% CI: 0.56, 0.97). NPIs (respiratory hygiene education and the regular use of hand sanitizer) did not reduce total laboratory-confirmed influenza. However, the interventions did reduce school total absence episodes by 26% and laboratory-confirmed influenza A infections by 52%. Our results suggest that NPIs can be an important adjunct to influenza vaccination programs to reduce the number of influenza A infections among children.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 06/2011; 30(11):921-6. DOI:10.1097/INF.0b013e3182218656 · 3.14 Impact Factor