The survey was considered a public health response. School administrators provided contact information for households with children attending the school. Investigators asked to speak to an adult in the household. If an adult was available and consented, the survey was administered. For each day of school closure, respondents were asked for the following information: where the student spent most of the day; whether the student went elsewhere (prompted by specific venues), who watched the student; and whether the person watching the student missed work. Questions were asked regarding the oldest student if multiple children attended the school.
Respondents were also asked, for each household member, whether the person had symptoms of ILI (defined as fever with cough and/or sore throat) between May 1, 2009, and the time of the survey. Children were defined as persons <18 years of age, and those >
18 years of age were considered adults. The Technical Appendix
describes the process followed to calculate variables used in the analysis.
The locations where students spent most of the day and other venues visited were tabulated. Significant differences in venues visited by students with and without ILI were determined by using the Fisher exact test. We computed unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for the following characteristics versus whether the household reported missing >
1 workdays: whether the oldest student reported ILI (repeated for whether any adult, any student at the closed school, or any child in the household reported ILI), whether the household had a single child, whether the household had just 1 adult, whether all adults in the household worked outside the home, and whether household income was above the median (Technical Appendix
). Adjusted ORs were computed in a logistic regression model for variables that had unadjusted ORs significant at p<0.10 by the Fisher exact test.
Surveys were completed for 214 (59%) of 364 households (59%), and accounted for 269 (59%) of the 456 students enrolled at the school. shows the demographics of surveyed households. Most households had at least 2 adults, at least 2 wage earners, and >
2 children. Households with incomes >
$60,000 were at or above the median income. Because some of the oldest students spent days in multiple locations during the 5 days of school closure, we calculated the number of student-days at each venue (number of students at each type of venue multiplied by the number of days spent there). Home was the primary location during the school closure for 77% of the student-days (Technical Appendix Figure 1
). The next most common location was another family member’s home.
Demographic variables of households affected by school closure during pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Pennsylvania, USA*
Sixty-nine percent of students visited other venues during school closure (Technical Appendix Figure 2
). Those reported as having ILI were more likely to have visited a healthcare provider than those without ILI (p<0.01), but no other statistically significant differences were found in terms of venues visited between those with ILI and those without ILI. Seventy-nine percent of households reported zero missed workdays (); of the remaining households in which work was missed, ≈40% missed work during all 5 days of school closure.
The only household characteristics for which the OR for missing any workdays was significantly different from 1 at p<0.10 were single child, all adults work, and household income is greater than or equal to median income (). When adjusted ORs were calculated, household income greater than or equal to median was significant at p<0.05, but because income data were only available for 184 households (vs. 214 for the other factors), the sample on which the adjusted ORs were calculated was somewhat different. All adults in the household working was significantly associated with household income greater than or equal to the median (p<0.01).
Predictors of households reporting days of work missed to watch children during school closure for pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Pennsylvania, USA*†