1393. Health Care Providers (HCP) with Influenza-Like Illness (ILI): Comparing Attitudes of Those Providing Care to Transplant Recipients to Those Providing Care to General Medical Patients
Session: Poster Abstract Session: HAI: Occupational Health
Friday, October 28, 2016
Room: Poster Hall
  • ILI IDWeek poster 2016.pdf (75.9 kB)
  • Background: Previous studies showed that 80% of HCP may work while ill, defined as presenteeism. Working while ill with a communicable disease like influenza could spread the infection, which is particularly deadly for transplant patients. Our objective was to compare the rate of presenteeism associated with ILI among HCP for transplant recipients to that among HCP for general medical patients. 

    Methods: We created a 10-question online survey to assess HCP recent work practices with ILI, including taking time off and wearing a face mask. Respondents also indicated their job and whether they worked with transplant patients. Once epidemic influenza activity was reported by the local county health department, the survey was emailed to physicians, advanced practice nurses, and registered nurses, including 2 weekly reminders for non-responders. We defined ILI as fever (> 100o F), cough and/or sore throat (in the absence of a known cause other than influenza).

    Results: Of 707 HCPs invited, 295 (42%) completed the survey. Median age was 35 years; 215 (72.9%) were female, 92 (31.2%) were physicians or advanced practice providers, 196 (66.4%) were nurses or support staff and 7 (2.4%) did not report. Of 295 respondents, 77 (26%) reported having ILI in the past 2 weeks: 17 (22%) had fever, 68 (88%) had cough and 49 (64%) had sore throat; 71 of 77 (92%) with ILI came to work while ill. Of these, 42 (59.2%) wore a mask and 29 of 71 (40.8%) took some time off.  Overall, 47 of 77 (61%) worked continuously while ill with ILI. HCPs working with transplant patients were more likely to wear a mask (table).

    HCP for transplant recipients (n = 365)

    HCP for general medical patients (n = 342)


    Responders: n (%)

    134 (36.7%)

    152 (44.4%)


    ILI: n (%)

    36 (26.9%)

    38 (25%)


    Presenteeism: n (%)

    20 (55.6%)

    25 (65.8%)


    Wore mask: n (%)

    25 (69.4%)

    15 (39.5%)


    Time off due to ILI: n (%)

    16 (44.4%)

    11 (28.9%)


    NS = not significant

    Conclusion: About half of HCPs caring for hospitalized patients worked continuously while ill with ILI.  HCPs caring for transplant patients were more likely to wear a mask, but many did not, exposing patients to potentially deadly infections.  Non-punitive systems should encourage HCPs to avoid work when ill and to wear a mask to prevent spread of infections; particularly to vulnerable patients. 

    Sherif Mossad, MD, FIDSA1,2, Abhishek Deshpande, MD, PhD3, Sarah Schramm, MA4 and Michael Rothberg, MD, MPH4, (1)Infectious Diseases, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, (2)Infectious Diseases, Medicine Institute and Transplant Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, (3)Infectious Disease, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, (4)Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH


    S. Mossad, GSK: Investigator , Research support
    Oxford Immunotec: Investigator , Research support

    A. Deshpande, None

    S. Schramm, None

    M. Rothberg, None

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