TITLE

Will the NHS continue to function in an influenza pandemic? a survey of healthcare workers in the West Midlands, UK

AUTHOR(S)
Damery, Sarah; Wilson, Sue; Draper, Heather; Gratus, Christine; Greenfield, Sheila; Ives, Jonathan; Parry, Jayne; Petts, Judith; Sorell, Tom
PUB. DATE
January 2009
SOURCE
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: If UK healthcare services are to respond effectively to pandemic influenza, levels of absenteeism amongst healthcare workers (HCWs) must be minimised. Current estimates of the likelihood that HCWs will continue to attend work during a pandemic are subject to scientific and predictive uncertainty, yet an informed evidence base is needed if contingency plans addressing the issues of HCW absenteeism are to be prepared. Methods: This paper reports the findings of a self-completed survey of randomly selected HCWs across three purposively sampled healthcare trusts in the West Midlands. The survey aimed to identify the factors positively or negatively associated with willingness to work during an influenza pandemic, and to evaluate the acceptability of potential interventions or changes to working practice to promote the continued presence at work of those otherwise unwilling or unable to attend. 'Likelihood' and 'persuadability' scores were calculated for each respondent according to indications of whether or not they were likely to work under different circumstances. Binary logistic regression was used to compute bivariate and multivariate odds ratios to evaluate the association of demographic variables and other respondent characteristics with the self-described likelihood of reporting to work. Results: The survey response rate was 34.4% (n = 1032). Results suggest absenteeism may be as high as 85% at any point during a pandemic, with potential absence particularly concentrated amongst nursing and ancillary workers (OR 0.3; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.7 and 0.5; 95% CI 0.2 to 0.9 respectively). Conclusion: Levels of absenteeism amongst HCWs may be considerably higher than official estimates, with potential absence concentrated amongst certain groups of employees. Although interventions designed to minimise absenteeism should target HCWs with a low stated likelihood of working, members of these groups may also be the least receptive to such interventions. Changes to working conditions which reduce barriers to the ability to work may not address barriers linked to willingness to work, and may fail to overcome HCWs' reluctance to work in the face of what may still be deemed unacceptable risk to self and/or family.
ACCESSION #
43227000

 

Related Articles

  • Complications of pandemic flu.  // Pulse;5/27/2009, Vol. 69 Issue 18, p29 

    The article presents the complications of pandemic influenza in Great Britain. It notes that the seasonal influenza resolves in about one week, with fever as the dominant symptom. Secondary bacterial pneumonia is considered as the most common complication of the disease. It points out that rapid...

  • Oseltamivir for treatment and prevention of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 virus infection in households, Milwaukee, 2009. Goldstein, Edward; Cowling, Benjamin J.; O'Hagan, Justin J.; Danon, Leon; Fang, Vicky J.; Hagy, Angela; Miller, Joel C.; Reshef, David; Robins, James; Biedrzycki, Paul; Lipsitch, Marc // BMC Infectious Diseases;2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p211 

    Background: During an influenza pandemic, a substantial proportion of transmission is thought to occur in households. We used data on influenza progression in individuals and their contacts collected by the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) to study the transmission of pandemic influenza...

  • Agent-based simulation for weekend-extension strategies to mitigate influenza outbreaks. Liang Mao // BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p522 

    Background: Non-pharmaceutical strategies are vital in curtailing impacts of influenza and have been intensively studied in public health. However, few strategies have explicitly utilized the weekend effect, which has been widely reported to be capable of reducing influenza infections. This...

  • Healthcare workers' attitudes to working during pandemic influenza: a qualitative study. Ives, Jonathan; Greenfield, Sheila; Parry, Jayne M.; Draper, Heather; Gratus, Christine; Petts, Judith I.; Sorell, Tom; Wilson, Sue // BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9, p1 

    Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) will play a key role in any response to pandemic influenza, and the UK healthcare system's ability to cope during an influenza pandemic will depend, to a large extent, on the number of HCWs who are able and willing to work through the crisis. UK emergency...

  • Healthcare workers' perceptions of the duty to work during an influenza pandemic. Damery, S.; Draper, H.; Wilson, S.; Greenfield, S.; Ives, J.; Parry, J.; Petts, J.; Sorell, T. // Journal of Medical Ethics;Jan2010, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p12 

    Healthcare workers (HCWs) are often assumed to have a duty to work, even if faced with personal risk. This is particularly so for professionals (doctors and nurses). However, the health service also depends on nonprofessionals, such as porters, cooks and cleaners. The duty to work is currently...

  • Avian Flu: Should You Fear the Chicken? McEvoy, Mike // Fire Engineering;Dec2007, Vol. 160 Issue 12, p101 

    The article reports on the threat of an influenza pandemic and the control measures taken to prevent one. Flu is a respiratory infection transmitted by contact with respiratory secretions and is marked by symptoms such as fever, chills, aches and headache. Influenza kills 36,000 persons yearly...

  • Rhinovirus Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities, Ontario, Canada. Longtin, Jean; Marchand-Austin, Alex; Winter, Anne-Luise; Patel, Samir; Eshaghi, Alireza; Jamieson, Frances; Low, Donald E.; Gubbay, Jonathan B. // Emerging Infectious Diseases;Sep2010, Vol. 16 Issue 9, p1463 

    Diagnostic difficulties may have led to underestimation of rhinovirus infections in long-term care facilities. Using surveillance data, we found that rhinovirus caused 59% (174/297) of respiratory outbreaks in these facilities during 6 months in 2009. Disease was sometimes severe. Molecular...

  • Is public transport a risk factor for acute respiratory infection? Troko, Joy; Myles, Puja; Gibson, Jack; Hashim, Ahmed; Enstone, Joanne; Kingdon, Susan; Packham, Christopher; Amin, Shahid; Hayward, Andrew; Van-Tam, Jonathan Nguyen // BMC Infectious Diseases;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: The relationship between public transport use and acquisition of acute respiratory infection (ARI) is not well understood but potentially important during epidemics and pandemics. Methods: A case-control study performed during the 2008/09 influenza season. Cases (n = 72) consulted a...

  • Planificación de la preparatión para la influenza pandémica: esfuerzos regionales. Mujica, Oscar J.; Oliva, Otávio; dos Santos, Thais; Ehrenberg, John P. // Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica;Jun2008, Vol. 23 Issue 6, p428 

    The article provides information on the relevance of establishing a contingency plan in preparation for influenza pandemic in Latin America. It states that contingency planning is indeed a necessity in the effort of preventing the threat of influenza. It offers updates on the development of the...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics