The Effects of School Staff Food Allergy Education in a Large Urban School District

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
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Authors:

Atoosa Kourosh, MD, MPH Twitter
Chinelo K. Nsobundu, RN, BSN, MPH, CHES
Ritu Khosla, BDS, MPH
Danielle Guffey, MS
Charles G. Minard, PhD
Anthony J. Levinson, MD, FRCPC, MSc
Carla M. Davis, MD

Objective:

In this study, we examined program feasibility and evaluated change in staff food allergy knowledge using an online course, in-person trainings, or a combination of these in a large urban school district.

Methods:

We used online surveys to identify and gather data on target and control school staff. In Year 1, target school staff were mandated to take online training with optional in-person training; in Year 2, all staff were mandated to take online training and target school staff received additional in-person training. Changes in food allergy knowledge, epinephrine availability, and reaction recognition were measured between groups and years.

Results:

Mandatory online training improved course completion among school staff members. Pre- and post-test scores demonstrated increased food allergy knowledge in those completing the online training course. The school-based food allergy awareness program led to heightened reaction recognition and treatment in target schools that received in-person education. Target school reactions were more appropriately treated than in controls.

Conclusion:

Online training is a feasible and effective tool for food allergy awareness, but in-person skills training may help prepare staff. The heightened reaction recognition and treatment in target schools reflects improved awareness and anaphylaxis preparedness.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 3, May 2020, pp. 238-247(10)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.3.8