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Managing common infections in Day Care settings: Day Care providers’ sickness exclusion beliefs, advice, and their consequences for parents

Rooshenas, Leila 2012. Managing common infections in Day Care settings: Day Care providers’ sickness exclusion beliefs, advice, and their consequences for parents. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Background and Aims: Judicial antibiotic prescribing and appropriate use of healthcare resources are public health priorities. Preschool-aged children that attend day care frequently consult general practitioners (GPs) and receive antibiotics, despite experiencing mainly self-limiting and/or viral infections. North-American surveys indicate that day care providers unnecessarily exclude children with infections, and make exceptions to exclusion on the basis of antibiotic treatment. Commentators suggest that this may lead to unnecessary consultations and inappropriate antibiotic requests. This study’s main aim was to explore whether UK-based day care providers’ management of infections encourages parents to unnecessarily consult GPs, and inappropriately seek antibiotics. A secondary aim was to describe the content and nature of written day care sickness exclusion policies. Questionnaire Methods and Results: Questionnaires were distributed to 329 day care providers in three socio-demographically contrasting areas of South-East Wales, to gather descriptive data regarding sickness exclusion policies. 216 (66%) responses were received. Policies were mostly self-written, diverse in content and detail, and often non-evidence-based. Qualitative Methods and Results: Day care providers’ management of infections, and the influence this had on parents’ consulting and antibiotic-seeking behaviours, were explored through semi-structured interviews with 24 purposefully selected day care providers, and 28 opportunistically-selected parents that used their services. Interviews underwent inductive thematic analysis. All day care providers encouraged parents to consult GPs for self-limiting infections, and often inappropriately advised antibiotic treatment through written policies and verbal communication. Some parents felt that day care attendance increased their tendency to consult for symptoms they would usually manage themselves. The purpose of consultation was often to expedite return to day care, rather than alleviate concern. Parents understood that antibiotics were unlikely to be beneficial, but still sought and received treatment in order to appease day care providers’ requirements. Conclusion: Day care providers’ inappropriate advice to parents, together with non-evidence-based exclusion policies, contribute to unnecessary GP consultations and inappropriate antibiotic-seeking behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:05

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