The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3185.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 1:42 PM

Abstract #70125

Correlates of House Staff Knowledge of Infectious Disease Reporting

John H. Holmes, PhD1, Nkuchia Mikanatha, DrPH2, and Ebbing Lautenbach, MD, MPH, MSCE1. (1) Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215-898-4833,, (2) Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Pennsylvania Department of Health, PO Box 90, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17108

House staff at three major teaching medical institutions in Pennsylvania were surveyed about knowledge regarding reporting of notifiable infectious diseases. A total of 244 house staff completed the survey, of whom 31.0% specialized in family practice or internal medicine, 11.1% in pediatrics, 4.4% in a medical sub-specialty, and 8.9% in a surgical specialty. The remainder specified an "other" specialty category. Males comprised 58.0% of the respondents. Year of residency was categorized as follows: first year, 47.5%; second, 20.1%; third, 1.3%; fourth, 14.3%; and fifth or fellows, 16.8%. Survey questions focused on knowledge about two categories. The Timeframe category asked respondents to identify whether or not a specific list of nine infectious diseases needed to be reported immediately. The Responsibility category required respondents to identify the responsibility of six types of individuals for reporting diseases to health authorities. Summed scores were calculated separately for Timeframe and Responsibility, and normalized as unweighted proportion correct. The mean Timeframe score was 0.57 (SD=0.19), while the mean Responsibility score was 0.74 (SD=0.24). The scores showed significantly low correlation with length of time in residency (Timeframe r=0.13, p<0.05; Responsibility r=0.13, p<0.05)), gender (p>0.05), or specialty (p>0.05). These results indicate the need for improvement in education programs addressing disease reporting that focus on reporting certain infectious diseases rapidly and responsibility for reporting such diseases, especially given increasing bioterrorism vigilance. In addition, a single curriculum could address the needs of house staff in various specialties and at various times in their residency and even during medical school.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Disease Data, Health Departments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA