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Upper respiratory tract infections and academic attainment: A case study

Smith, Andrew ORCID: 2022. Upper respiratory tract infections and academic attainment: A case study. Journal of Clinical and Translational Research 8 (2) , 10. 10.18053/jctres.08.202202.010

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Background: There has been extensive research showing that upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), such as the common cold and influenza, can impair mental performance. Much of this research has involved studies of experimentally induced URTIs or laboratory studies of naturally occurring illnesses. The results from this research have implications for performance at work and in education. Aims: The present article presents a case study of the association between URTIs and academic performance and reports the use of such information as an extenuating circumstance for poor performance. Methods: The paper describes the poor performance of a primary school student taking the 11+ examination, which determines the choice of the future secondary school. Evidence suggested that it was plausible that the student was incubating an URTI at the time of the examination. Other possible infections, such as COVID, were ruled out. An appeal was made based on the possible association between incubating an URTI and unusually poor examination performance. Results: The appeal was supported by the adjudicating committee, and the student was allowed a place in the preferred secondary school. Conclusions: This case study shows that information about the association between URTIs and mental performance can be used as an extenuating circumstance that can plausibly account for poor academic performance. This can form the basis of future appeals, and recommendations for the type of evidence needed to make such claims are made. Relevance for patients: URTIs are frequent, common and a cause of absence from education and work. They may also impair performance, with effects not being restricted to the time the person is symptomatic. They may also increase susceptibility to the negative effects of stress and fatigue.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
Publisher: Whioce publishing Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)
ISSN: 2382-6533
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 14 March 2022
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:02

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