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Open Access The Effects of School Staff Food Allergy Education in a Large Urban School District

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Objective: In this study, we examined program feasibility and evaluated change in staff food allergy knowledge using an online course, in-person trainings, or a combination of these in a large urban school district. Methods: We used online surveys to identify and gather data on target and control school staff. In Year 1, target school staff were mandated to take online training with optional in-person training; in Year 2, all staff were mandated to take online training and target school staff received additional in-person training. Changes in food allergy knowledge, epinephrine availability, and reaction recognition were measured between groups and years. Results: Mandatory online training improved course completion among school staff members. Pre- and post-test scores demonstrated increased food allergy knowledge in those completing the online training course. The school-based food allergy awareness program led to heightened reaction recognition and treatment in target schools that received in-person education. Target school reactions were more appropriately treated than in controls. Conclusions: Online training is a feasible and effective tool for food allergy awareness, but in-person skills training may help prepare staff. The heightened reaction recognition and treatment in target schools reflects improved awareness and anaphylaxis preparedness.

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Keywords: ANAPHYLAXIS; FOOD ALLERGY; ONLINE TRAINING; SCHOOL HEALTH; URBAN SCHOOLS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2020

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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