Evaluation of Pertussis Knowledge Within the Child Daycare Staff and Management in the El Paso, Texas

Diana Jaqueline Gomez, University of Texas at El Paso


BACKGROUND: Child daycare centers have an enormous influence on the children’s health, which is important to maintain daycare staff and management informed on how to prevent communicable diseases, such as pertussis. Bordetella pertussis (Bp), the causative agent of whooping cough, is a small gram-negative bacterium that infects the nasopharynx of humans, which are the only reservoir. Bp is a highly contagious respiratory disease, which continues to be a severe disease in infants. The disease affects all ages and is easily transmitted from person to person, through respiratory droplets. Even though there is a vaccine available for all ages there are many factors that challenge the control of spreading of the disease. The most common source of infant pertussis infection in the United States has shift from mothers to siblings. The high demand for child daycare of children under the age of six is continually growing in our communities. The City of El Paso has a population of 835,593, with 8.2% of persons being under five years of age. During 2014, 32,971 pertussis cases were reported to CDC representing an increase of 15% compared to the pertussis cases reported in 2013, where the majority of deaths were among babies younger than 3 months old. OBJECTIVES: (1) Assess current level of knowledge on pertussis in staff and management personnel from selected daycare centers in three geographical areas of El Paso (West, East and Central). (2) Develop an educational intervention for the same selected participants to provide general information on pertussis and asses pre and post differences in levels of knowledge. METHODS: This pilot exploratory pre-post study collected data from one staff or management volunteer participant from each of the 72 selected registered childcare centers in El Paso, Texas. Selected daycare centers were located within the limits of the City of El Paso and provided services to children from newborn to four years-of-age. Daycare centers were later classified into three geographical areas for comparison. Demographic information was collected from all participants. Study was completed in three stages. For the first stage, participants were required to complete a questionnaire to assess level of knowledge on pertussis. The second stage consisted on short training sessions on general information about pertussis. The third stage included a post-intervention test based to assess changes in level of knowledge. Participant’s scores were compared from the Pre-Test questionnaire to the Post-Test questionnaire for significant differences. Furthermore, facts were also obtained to compare geographical locations on their Pre-Post average scores. RESULTS: Although, the area that had the highest increase of pertussis knowledge was the West area with a p-Value of 1.480E-14. The second highest area was the East with a significance p-Value of 0.00022, followed by the Central area with a p-Value of 0.0015. From the Pre-Test to the Post-Test, data suggest that the participants did increase their level of knowledge after the intervention sessions. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Participants received information on pertussis risk factors in children under the age of four attending child daycare. The West area had the highest increase of pertussis knowledge from the Pre-Test to the Post-Test. The East area had the second highest level of pertussis knowledge from the Pre-Test to the Post-Test, followed by the Central area. Increasing consciousness on health care in child daycare centers will most likely promote a better vaccination practice as well as avoiding spread of preventable diseases. Future follow up is required on the results from this intervention to assess long term impact on participants.

Subject Area

Public Health Education|Public health

Recommended Citation

Gomez, Diana Jaqueline, "Evaluation of Pertussis Knowledge Within the Child Daycare Staff and Management in the El Paso, Texas" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10283035.