Thanks to Our Individual Reviewers:
Pete Hunt, MPH, M.Ed.
Anne Sheetz, MPH, BSN, RN, CNAA, Former Director, Massachusetts DPH, School Health Services
Sally Schoessler, MEd, BSN, RN
Michael Young, MD, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University
Jennie Young, Senior Program Coordinator, NEA Health Information Network
Mary Ann Gapinski, MSN, RN, NCSN, Director, Massachusetts DPH, School Health Services
Kathleen McDarby, RN, MPH, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Food Allergy Management & Education
Lynda Mitchell, MA, President of Kids With Food Allergies Foundation
Jacqui Volk, Director of Programs and Services, AAFA
Tonya Winders, MBA, CEO, Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
Eleanor Garrow, BHA, President, Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team
Chris Weiss, PhD, Global Food Protection Institute
Debbie Saryan, Executive Director, AAFA New England Chapter
The Effectiveness of a Computer-Based Module to Augment the Education of School Staff in the Management of Students with Life-Threatening Food Allergies
New England Society of Allergy Abstract on Effectiveness of AllergyHome Staff Training Module: A study conducted by Massachusetts School Nurse Research Network (MASNRN) (Oct 2013)
L. White1, J. Aubin2, C. Bradford3, C. Alix4, L. Hughes1, W. Phipatanakul5, 6; 1Boston College, Boston, MA, 2North Attleboro School District, MA, 3Sudbury School District, Sudbury, MA, 4Foxborough Regional Charter School, Foxborough, MA, 5Boston Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Boston, MA, 6Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
*Results also presented as an oral abstract at the National Association of School Nurses Annual Conference (June 2013)
BACKGROUND: Food allergies are on the rise. Educating non-medical personnel in knowledge, prevention, recognition, and treatment of anaphylaxis is important.
OBJECTIVE: To pilot the effectiveness of a computer-based learning module used as a teaching tool to increase the knowledge and confidence of school staff in the recognition and management of life-threatening food allergies (LTFA).
METHODS: The Massachusetts School Nurse Research Network implemented a thirty minute self-directed, computer-based learning module among 85 non-medical school staff from 6 elementary schools. Mean test scores were compared pre/post training.
RESULTS: All participants reported an increase in knowledge There was a significant difference in the mean test scores for Knowledge Pre= 8.6 (SD ±1.3) Post =10.1 ( SD ±1.1), t(-10), P < 0.001, Confidence Pre= 11.5 (SD±3.3) Post= 14.6 (SD±1.6), t (-10) P < 0.001, and Attitude Pre=23.0 (SD±2.9) Post=26.0 (SD±2.1), t (-11.5), P< 0.001) towards students with LTFA compared to baseline. No correlation was noted between perceived confidence and knowledge scores at either time point. The greatest change in attitude was related to the recognition that students with food allergies were at risk for being bullied by others 29.4% Pre versus 90.4 % Post. The majority of participants reported completing the module on a school computer off work hours and evaluated the module favorably as an education tool.
CONCLUSIONS: An online module may supplement school nurses’ limited time to train staff and enhance school preparedness in addressing students with LTFA. Increased awareness about bullying of food allergic children may also arise from this training.