Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

College of Nursing

Sub-Department

Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Joan M Culley

Abstract

Head lice infestation (Pediculosis capitis) is a common nuisance in young children, carrying a social stigma that associates infestation with poverty and poor hygiene. School exclusion laws, regulations, and policies for head lice are implemented to decrease spread in the school setting. Exclusion rules may be developed by the school, by the local education agency, or, as is the case in South Carolina, by the state health department. Exclusion criteria should be selected from the best available evidence, as policy decisions directly affect children's ability to attend school. Recently published pediatric literature containing strong opinion statements regarding exclusion warranted close consideration of existing exclusion criteria. Lice treatments have been extensively studied and evidence-based guidelines are readily available for school health and administrative professionals to use in recommending treatments to parents. The use of school exclusion, however, has been the subject of very little research, and high-level evidence for exclusion and readmission criteria has not been published. This paper presents the results of a modified Delphi consensus process used with school nurses to identify the best, most acceptable, criteria for school exclusion and readmission for school children with pediculosis.

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