School Health

When US and State Governments Go Viral: In-person Reopening of Schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic – and Then What? – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Robert J. McDermott, PhD Twitter

Objective:

In this commentary I argue that rapid reopening of schools for in-person instruction in the United States is unwise and likely to extend the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods:

I review various sources of information and raise issues less frequently and thoroughly addressed in noted plans to expedite school reopening.

Results:

Whereas the focus has been on preparing plans of action for in-person instruction on the first day of school that minimize risk to pupils and school personnel, aspects of these plans are operationally unsound. Additionally, opinions among school personnel and parents for rapid reopening are far from unanimous. Moreover, the potential health impact on teachers, bus drivers, and other school personnel, as well as pupils, and the potential for another shutdown are phenomena with real probability.

Conclusion:

Despite government-led arguments favoring rapid restoration of in-person instruction, I argue that school reopening should take a wiser approach, sustaining remote instruction until pandemic statistics place people at substantially reduced disease risk.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 4, July 2020, pp. 366-373(8)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.4.10

2020-08-21T17:27:28-06:00August 21st, 2020|COVID19, Open Access, School Health, Youth|

Effects of a School Tobacco Policy on Student Smoking and Snus Use

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Håkan Källmén, PhD
Peter Wennberg, PhD
Tove Sohlberg, PhD
Matz Larsson, PhD, MD

Objective:

A school tobacco policy (STP) commonly is used to reduce smoking among adolescents, but the effectiveness of such programs is unclear. We evaluated the impact of an STP on tobacco use in 4 schools.

Methods:

The study included 4 intervention and 4 control schools, located in the inner city of Stockholm, Sweden. Schools self-selected for assignment to either an intervention program or a comparison group. In total, the study was comprised of 2671 students in grades 9 and 11, ages 15 to 18, and 1998 students (75%) responded to the questionnaire. We used a repeated cross-sectional design with assessment of tobacco use prevalence before implementation of the STP in 2016 and after 2 years under the program, in 2018.

Results:

Two years after the STP, the intervention school in grade 9 showed a lower prevalence (13.5% vs 1.6%) in the proportion of students who reported smoking (χ2 = 4.54; p < .05) whereas the proportion reporting snus use was practically unchanged. We found no statistically significant impact of the STP for grade 11.

Conclusion:

The results are promising with regard to smoking, when the STP is implemented in early adolescence.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 4, July 2020, pp. 358-365(8)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.4.9

2020-08-21T17:36:10-06:00August 21st, 2020|Open Access, School Health, Tobacco|

COVID-19 School Closures: Implications for Pediatric Diabetes Management – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Rohit Jaswaney, BA Twitter
Jessica P. Cerdeña, MPhil Twitter

Objective:

The United States COVID-19 outbreak shuttered public and private schools, confining more than 55.1 million students to their homes. In this paper, we discuss the unique vulnerabilities faced by families affected by pediatric diabetes as well as structural issues exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods:

Drawing on clinical and anthropological expertise, we review the unintended consequences of remote schooling for management of pediatric diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

Results:

We identify multiple barriers to pediatric diabetes care imposed by conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose a 4-tiered policy solution that aims to improve crisis response and to protect the health of children with chronic conditions, like diabetes, long-term.

Conclusion:

The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated wide disruptions to schooling, employment, finances, and transportation, placing enormous burdens on families that care for a child with diabetes. Comprehensive policies supporting integrated diabetes care, student accommodations in remote learning conditions, extended medication
supplies, and increased healthcare access would not only prevent adverse outcomes for children with diabetes in crisis settings, but also lay a durable foundation needed to increase health equity of all children living with chronic conditions.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 4, July 2020, pp. 325-328(4)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.4.5

2020-08-21T17:33:03-06:00August 21st, 2020|COVID19, Open Access, School Health, Youth|

Creating Healthy Schools with Middle School Students as Change Makers

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Elaine S. Belansky, PhD Twitter
Kathleen Lohmiller, PhD
Benjamin C. Ingman, PhD
Nick Cutforth, PhD
Sharon Scarbro, MS
Laura Borley, MS

Objective:

The Working Together Project (WTP) is a classroom-based curriculum in which rural, low-income middle school students completed “Assess. Identify. Make it Happen,” a strategic planning process to improve student health by implementing evidence-based initiatives. The curriculum consisted of 30, 55-minute lessons and 28 “workdays” for students to conduct research, create communication materials, and develop presentations. Study goals were to: (1) assess the extent to which the WTP led to the implementation of evidence-based practices; and (2) describe student-level outcomes that resulted from participating in the WTP.

Methods:

We conducted a quasi-experimental, convergent mixed-methods study with 4 intervention and 2 control middle schools located in a low-income, rural region. We carried out pre/post student surveys and interviews with teachers, principals, and students.

Results:

Two of the 4 intervention schools completed the entire curriculum and implemented evidence-based practices. Students in control schools showed a decline in school connection, academic engagement, and knowledge of health problems, whereas students in the intervention arm showed increases in personal responsibility to solve problems, 21st century skills, school connectedness, and program planning skills.

Conclusion:

When implemented fully, the WTP is a promising youth-led, adult-supported strategy for implementing evidence-based practices to promote health in schools.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 3, May 2020, pp. 260-270(11)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.3.10

2020-06-25T11:39:36-06:00June 20th, 2020|Adolescents, Open Access, School Health|

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.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

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

2020-06-25T11:28:51-06:00June 20th, 2020|Food Allergy, Open Access, School Health|

Parents’ Experiences with a School-based Dental Sealant Project in Central Appalachia: A Qualitative Study

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Sarah E. Raskin, PhD, MPH Twitter

Objective:

In this study, I describe parents’ experiences with a rural school-based dental sealant project (SBSP), a Healthy People 2020 objective for optimizing population-level protection against dental decay and reducing oral health disparities.

Methods:

I conducted parent interviews (N = 16) and coded them with NVivo 10, using deductive and inductive codes, from which I identified themes.

Results:

Parents enrolled children in the SBSP based on their confidence in local public institutions and the project’s convenience and accessibility. Parents did not understand the prevention orientation of the project, what services were offered or delivered, service limitations, or next steps, in particular their need to complete referrals to dentists. Parents’ recommendations for program improvement included strengthening communications and reviving a defunct dental public health mobile unit that had previously treated children’s existing dental problems.

Conclusion:

SBSPs should proactively identify and address family and contextual factors when planning and implementing projects. SBSPs should also strengthen case management capacity, collaborate with schools to bolster communications and message clarification, and be relieved of administrative and duplicate travel burdens that impede team members’ capacity to fulfill technical and case management-oriented duties, namely support the transition and maintenance of children into dental homes.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 3, May 2020, pp. 215-222(8)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.3.6

2020-07-07T22:12:20-06:00June 20th, 2020|Open Access, Oral Health, Rural Health, School Health|
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