The public health importance of scabies in community domiciliary care settings: an exploratory cross-sectional survey of health protection teams in England

Phipps, Emily, Pietzsch, Maaike E, Cassell, Jackie A and Humphreys, Clare (2019) The public health importance of scabies in community domiciliary care settings: an exploratory cross-sectional survey of health protection teams in England. Epidemiology and Infection, 147. e239. ISSN 0950-2688

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Abstract

Scabies is a contagious skin infection commonly occurring in institutions such as care homes. However, a large proportion of vulnerable people in England receive domiciliary care in the community and their experience of scabies has not been described. We undertook a pragmatic cross-sectional survey of Health Protection Teams (HPTs) in England to determine the burden of scabies related to domiciliary care. Fifteen cases or outbreaks were notified to HPTs between January 2013 and December 2017. Although a relatively uncommon event for individual HPTs, they were complex to manage and required the co-ordination of multiple stakeholders. Diagnosis was often delayed and required several clinical consultations. A lack of guidance led to difficulties establishing stakeholder roles and responsibilities and sources of funding for treatment. The stigmatisation of scabies sometimes affected the quality of care provided to patients, such as use of excessive personal protective equipment. Our study demonstrates that scabies is an issue of public health importance for domiciliary care service providers and users, and research is required to better understand the impacts of the disease and to develop evidence-based guidance. More generally, there is a need for simpler treatment regimens and methods of diagnosing scabies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Communicable disease control, domiciliary care, health protection, public health, scabies
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2020 16:35
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2020 16:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/90564

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