Food Allergy Education Session Improves Nurses' Knowledge, Confidence, and Attitudes Towards Managing Food Allergic Children in a School Environment
Saturday, March 5, 2016: 1:00 PM
Room 503 (Convention Center)
Zara Atal, , ,
Rationale: Children with food allergies spend much of their time in the school setting; therefore, trained school staff are needed to ensure the safety of these children. The primary goal of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a food allergy education session to improve Colorado school nurses’ knowledge, confidence and attitudes regarding management of food allergic children in the school environment.  

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to attendees (n=261) at the Colorado school nurse training sessions in Spring of 2015. The live training sessions were led by a physician and nurse who used a training module developed by Allergyhome.org as part of the educational session. 

Results: 124 (47.5%) completed pre- and post-surveys were used for analysis. From baseline to post-training, the median knowledge score increased from 76.92% (SD=13.72) to 88.46% (SD=8.776; p<.0001). Improvements in knowledge primarily occurred in the areas of how to clean hands (23.39% vs 59.68% correct) and surfaces (59.68% vs 70.16% correct), when to report a reaction to the Department of Education (56.45% vs 87.10% correct), and when to take someone to the hospital by ambulance (79.03% vs 86.29% correct). The median confidence score increased from 25 (SD=3.021) to 27 (SD=2.996; p<.0001) out of a total of 30. The median attitude score increased from 28 (SD=3.495) to 31 (SD=3.310, p<.0001) out of a total of 35.

Conclusions: These training sessions significantly improved nurses’ knowledge, as well as increased their confidence and attitudes towards proper food allergy management practices in the school setting.