198193 Health risks for pandemic avian flu in a university population Implications for public health nursing and education

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:50 PM

Patricia M. Schoon, MPH, PHN , Department of Nursing, School of Health, St, Catherine University, St. Paul, MN
An online Pandemic Flu Risk Survey administered to all students, faculty, and staff with email at a private Midwestern university identified behavioral, biological, environmental, and social health determinants that demonstrated the risk for pandemic flu among this university population. A convenience sample of 1644 (response rate 30%) of students, faculty, and staff was analyzed to determine existing population risk factors and to compare them to the epidemiological model of the projected progression of the current avian flu virus with its potential to mutate and potentiate human-to-human transmission. Eighty-one percent of the respondents were students and 91% of the respondents were female. Thirty-five percent of the respondents were from health professions programs and 22% of the respondents were from the Department of Nursing. Findings include: 45% of the respondents had received a flu shot in the current academic year; 14% had a family emergency plan; 57% did not know how to protect themselves from pandemic flu; and, 37% would not stay home from work or school if they had a severe cough or cold. Twenty-four percent would help to care for ill students living on campus. The findings of this study were used in the university-wide pandemic flu preparedness planning. Nursing students were involved in developing recommended primary, secondary, and tertiary intervention plans as part of their public health nursing coursework. Implications of this study for higher education and programs preparing health professionals are addressed in this presentation.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify pandemic flu health risks for a university population and the implications for pandemic flu preparedness planning and response. 2. Describe a key primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention intervention that may be instituted on a university campus to reduce the risk for and spread of pandemic flu. 3. Discuss the role a Department of Nursing may play in pandemic flu preparedness planning and response.

Keywords: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PHN Educator since 1975. Research described in abstract is my own. Have presented at APHA and ACHNE more than 6 times.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.