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Six grade students' knowledge about alergic diseases

Neja Štromajer (2018) Six grade students' knowledge about alergic diseases. MSc thesis.

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    Allergies have become one of the major problems that health institutions, schools as well as individuals are facing. They can appear in many different forms and can be classified into various groups based on the type of substance that induces an allergy or on the body part where an allergy first appears. Some allergic reactions are merely a bit irritating while others can be life-threatening. If we wish to improve general management of allergic reactions in children, it is necessary to provide education on how to prevent exposures to allergens, what first aid has to offer and how to treat acute allergic reaction. Many employees in schools are not aware how serious the problem of allergic reactions is and most of them are not properly educated about the correct and efficient treatment, especially in case of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is considered an emergency condition since this is a serious systematic and life-threatening allergic reaction. The number of children with anaphylaxis is growing, therefore such a reaction can also occur in school. It is very important that people around a student with anaphylaxis can recognize the situation and know how to act in case such a student comes in contact with an allergen that induces an allergic reaction. This includes teachers and school friends. The purpose of this master’s thesis research was to establish to what extent the students of 6th grade are acquainted with allergic diseases. We choose 6th grade students because the home economics syllabus for 6th grade includes the topics food and eating. Since allergic diseases in children are frequent there is a chance that a student might need to help his or her classmate, friend or acquaintance that is allergic and may suffer from an allergic reaction. The main purpose of this research was to check the existing knowledge and the newly acquired knowledge of sixth-graders in gorenjska region about allergic diseases. The newly acquired knowledge was subsequently examined in the same students six months after the first examination. We also examined the differences in knowledge about allergic conditions between students with allergies and those without allergies. Special attention was devoted to anaphylaxis and adrenalin auto-injectors and how to act in such situations. We tried to establish whether students would know what to do in the above mentioned situations. Primarily, we wished to introduce the students to the problem that makes more and more lives difficult. People who suffer from any kind of allergy, mild or severe, often have to change their lifestyle completely. In the theoretical part, we presented the general characteristics of allergic diseases. In particular, we described early recognition and management of anaphylaxis in children. We described the current conditions and reasons why allergic reactions occur more and more often. Furthermore this part of the thesis explains how to act in worst case scenario. The empirical part of the research included survey results obtained by two questionnaires that were given to students. The first questionnaire examined the existing knowledge of students so the students had to fill it out before they attended the lesson on allergies. The other questionnaire was designed to examine the knowledge students acquired during the lesson and was filled after the organised lesson. The students were then given the same questionnaire six months later in order to check how much they still remembered about the topic. The lesson was carried out in four classes from the primary school in gorenjska region, the whole sample included 100 students of 6th grade with some deviation on account of some students being absent. The data were analysed with SPSS programme in addition some measurement characteristics of the questionnaire were specified and the student’s knowledge and opinions related to allergies were identified. The results showed that a vast majority of sixth-graders understood certain facts about allergies before the organised lesson since almost all questions designed to check their existing knowledge were answered correctly. Most pupils also correctly identified an inhaler as a medicine to ease asthma however most did not know about the auto-injector, a medicine for anaphylaxis. Significant differences occurred after we had carried out the lesson. After the lesson most pupils correctly answered the question about the adrenalin auto-injector and they also accurately identified it. Most children were not frightened by the thought that someday they might have to help o classmate suffering from an allergic reaction in school. Majority of pupils answered all our questions related to knowledge about allergic diseases correctly irrespective of the time the questions were given to them (straight after the lesson or after 6 months). The differences in the existing knowledge about allergic diseases between sixth-graders who are not allergic and those who are were not statistically significant.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: allergy, anaphylaxis, pupils of 6th grade, adrenalin auto-injector, primary school
    Number of Pages: 51
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Iztok DevetakMentor
    prof. dr. Tadej AvčinComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12285257
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5558
    Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2019 12:17
    Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 12:17
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5558

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