Uncovering family experience with head lice treatment: results of on-line questionnaire

Parison, J., Speare, R., and Canyon, D. (2007) Uncovering family experience with head lice treatment: results of on-line questionnaire. In: Papers from 38th Public Health Association of Australia Annual Conference. p. 49. From: 38th Public Health Association of Australia Annual Conference, 23-26 September 2007, Alice Springs, NT, Australia.

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Although, infection with head lice is an emotional issue, the social and emotional aspects of treating head lice have been neglected by researchers. Existing research focuses on the insect's biology and treatment strategies. A head lice information website sponsored an anonymous, exploratory questionnaire which asked: feelings at discovery, difficulties experienced with control and other problematic issues. Eligible respondents (n = 332) were overwhelming female (91 %), from developed countries (85%) and employed full-time (43%) or part-time (34%). Two important themes with public health implications were the burden of treatment, particularly the time required to diagnose and treat pediculosis, and the emotional impact of head lice. Time required to manage head lice has implications for the usefulness of current treatment methods which are incompatible with the lifestyles of the female parents/guardians from developed nations. An oral drug would probably find wide acceptance if concerns abour safety and overuse could be addressed. Most emotional reactions to discovery were strongly negative. Social stigma and treatment workload appear causal. Current professional advice uses a bio-medical model of control largely ignoring social and emotional dimensions. Strategies to address these dimensions are required. These study findings will now enable exploration in greater depth with more sophisticated instruments.

Item ID: 9385
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-1-875990-25-2
Additional Information:

Conference theme "Reality Check: Inequities & Health"

Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2010 02:01
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health @ 100%
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