Understanding Policy Decisions and Their Implications Regarding Preventive Interventions for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection in Canadian Infants: A Primer for Nurses.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of morbidity and hospitalization in young children, and prevention is the primary management strategy. At present, palivizumab, a monoclonal antibody providing immediate passive immunity, rather than a vaccine that induces active immunity, is the only preventive intervention used in routine practice internationally. In Canada, access varies across the country. Prophylaxis policies are mainly driven by cost-effectiveness analyses, and it is crucial that the full costs and benefits of any intervention are captured. Positive results from a new Canadian cost-effectiveness analysis of palivizumab will help address the current inequality in use while providing a framework for future models of RSV preventives. Nurses are the principal educators for parents about the risks of childhood RSV and optimal prevention via basic hygiene, behavioral and environmental measures, and seasonal prophylaxis. Nurses should be provided not only with regular, up-to-date, and accurate information on RSV and the clinical aspects of emerging interventions but be informed on the decision-making governing the use of preventive strategies.
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