Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Factors related to adult mumps case reporting by New York State physicians

Scott E. Coley1, Cynthia R. Schulte2, and Debra Blog1. (1) Immunization Program, New York State Department of Health, Corning Tower, Room 649, ESP, Albany, NY, USA, (2) Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, Immunization Program, New York State Dept.of Health, Corning Tower, Room 649, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to: understand the importance of mumps case reporting. identify factors impacting vaccine-preventable disease case reporting. suggest strategies for improving physician case reporting rates

Recent mumps outbreaks largely involving adult populations have highlighted the need for continued vigilance against vaccine preventable diseases. Physician awareness and attitudes toward disease burden and reporting systems influence the effectiveness of public health measures.

The objective of this study was to identify characteristics of physicians who reported adult mumps cases in order to inform targeted physician outreach strategies to minimize underreporting of cases.

Case physicians were identified through New York State case reports of mumps in individuals 18 years and older from January 1, 1997, to July 1, 2007. Controls were randomly selected from New York State Education Department records of licensed physicians. Cases and controls received surveys of their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding mumps infection and case reporting. The analysis was designed as an unmatched case-control study.

Twenty-five of 75 (33%) physicians who reported mumps cases and 105 of 600 (18%) randomly selected physicians completed the survey. Compared to physicians who were randomly selected, physicians who reported mumps cases were: 1) approximately three times more likely to refer to local health departments for disease reporting information (p<0.01), 2) were more likely to agree that staff had contact information for local health department communicable disease surveillance officers (p<0.01), and 3) indicated significantly more knowledgeable about mumps epidemiology.

Control of vaccine-preventable diseases in general and mumps in particular depends on prompt identification and reporting of infections and initiation of public health measures. Our results indicate that relationships between local health departments and physicians are important in determining whether cases are identified and reported.