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Multicountry review shows that Bug Buster Kits reduce head lice and social stigma
Date:10/1/2007

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:

  • In Chester (UK), the local primary care trust saw a 24 per cent reduction in prescribing costs for lice medication between April 2004 and March 2005 and local healthcare staff reported spending less time advising parents. Demand for insecticide medication fell and demand for Bug Buster Kits rose.

  • 677 children from three schools took part in the Ghent (Belgium) study, with active infestation rates in the schools ranging from 13 per cent to 20 per cent. Involving the whole school community in a bug busting approach including children, parents and school, health and community staff reduced infestations by two-thirds.

  • Parents who took part i
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Source:Eurekalert

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