Multicountry review shows that Bug Buster Kits reduce head lice and social stigma

October 01, 2007

Working with parents and schools to provide a bug busting approach to head lice is helping to reduce infestation levels, tackle health inequalities and reduce healthcare costs, according to a review in the October issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.

A team from the UK charity Community Hygiene Concern led a review of studies carried out in the UK, Belgium and Denmark since 1996.

"The best results are obtained when parents are supplied with a free Bug Buster Kit, which includes special combs and instructions on how to detect and eradicate head lice with normal shampoos and conditioners" explains Joanna Ibarra, Programme Co-ordinator for the charity.

"The Bug Buster Kit can be reused by a whole family for a year or more" she adds. "This enables families of all socio-economic classes to participate in a whole-school approach.

"In the UK, promoting the bug busting approach is reducing primary care expenditure on treatment for head lice and professional time spent with worried families. As a result, healthcare providers can spend more time with the few families who need one-to-one guidance."

The review was carried out with the help of experts from each of the three countries featured.

Key findings included: "Evidence from the UK and other European countries shows that getting the whole school community involved in bug busting makes it much easier to control infestations and reduce health inequalities" concludes Joanna Ibarra.

"Parents support the bug busting approach because everyone is treated equally and the stigma associated with catching head lice is reduced.

"They also prefer a system that uses normal shampoos and conditioners to mechanically remove lice, rather than expensive formulated products to kill them.

"Costs are reduced for healthcare systems that provide such medication on prescription, and for parents living in countries where they are not available on prescription. This is a particular advantage for low-income families who struggle to afford them.

"Another advantage is that health professionals can focus their time on the small number of families who need extra support."
-end-
Community Hygiene Concern (www.chc.org), which plays a key role in the UK's national bug busting days, was established with funding from the Department of Health and King's Fund. It is currently advising schools on local initiatives for the next national event on 31 October.

Notes to editors



Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.