As inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) often develops in young age, school nurses might play a crucial role in early detection of the disease. However, the school nurses' knowledge of IBD has not been evaluated. We aimed to investigate the awareness of IBD in school nurses and determine whether the education could improve it.Methods:
Initially, school nurses working in Daegu-Gyeongbuk area of Korea were invited to fill out a self-reported questionnaire of IBD. Then, a 30-minutes lecture with educational brochures regarding epidemiology, etiology, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of IBD was provided 2 times with 1 month-interval at the schools by IBD specialists from a tertiary referral hospital. Six-month after the education, school nurses were asked to complete the same IBD questionnaire sent by e-mail.Results:
Of 101 school nurses invited, 54 (53.5%) who completed 2 consecutive questionnaires were included in the study (mean age 44.4 yr, median working experience 13 yr [range 1–37], elementary school 22 [40.7%], junior high school 18 [33.3%], high school 14 [25.9%]). 11.1% and 7.4% of them did not know UC and CD, respectively. They heard of IBD most frequently from doctors or nurses (33.3%) followed by internet surfing (25.9%). Half of them were not aware of the welfare service system for students with IBD provided by City Office of Education. Six-month after the education, the number of nurses who could explain IBD to students with over 30% confidence increased from 24 (44.5%) to 42 (77.8%) (P = 0.024). Most of nurses (81.5%) reported that the education was helpful for managing students with abdominal pain or diarrhea. Moreover, the number of students who received welfare service for IBD management in Daegu-Gyeongbuk increased by more than 2-fold compared to the previous year of education.Conclusions:
There is a room for improvement of IBD knowledge in school nurses. Systematic educational program on IBD for these nurses should be implemented.