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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Judy Ortiz, MS, PA-C, MHS


Objective: Absenteeism due to pediculosis infestation is a chronic problem that is responsible for deleterious scholastic, economic, and social effects. An effective treatment that educates parents and school personnel can decrease these rates of absenteeism. This study analyses absenteeism rates in primary aged school children infected with head lice and the effectiveness of the Zero Tolerance head lice treatment program. Success is defined as a decreased time period until children were allowed to return to their scholastic activities.

Methods: Retrospective review of absenteeism data acquired over a four-year period for subjects ages 5 to 12 years. Results: 819 subjects were recorded throughout 1999-2003. There was an overall decrease in gross days absent in six of seven schools examined. There was a decreased incidence of pediculosis in six of seven schools examined. There was an overall decrease in the mean number of days missed per infected individual in three of the seven school investigated. There was an increase in mean number of days missed in four of the seven schools investigated with standard deviation values as large as 1.6.

Conclusion: The Zero Tolerance head lice treatment is effective in decreasing absenteeism rates in primary schools. This study demonstrates the beneficial effects of the Zero Tolerance head lice treatment and its ability to decrease absenteeism in prim31Y aged school children. The treatment allows teachers, family members, and school personnel a non-toxic alternative to traditional head lice management. Additionally, education at school and in the home allow for effective treatment, thereby reducing social stigma, decreased scholastic aptitude, and monies spent or lost by those involved.


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