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Experiences of carers managing childhood eczema and their views on its treatment: a qualitative study

Experiences of carers managing childhood eczema and their views on its treatment: a qualitative study
Experiences of carers managing childhood eczema and their views on its treatment: a qualitative study
Background: Childhood eczema causes significant impact on quality of life for some families, yet non-concordance with treatment is common.

Aim: To explore parents' and carers' views of childhood eczema and its treatment.

Design and setting: Qualitative interview study in primary care in the south of England.

Method: Carers of children aged ?5 years with a recorded diagnosis of eczema, who reported that eczema was still a problem, were invited to participate. Thirty-one parents were interviewed from 28 families.

Results: Many parents expressed frustration with both medical care and prescribed treatments. They felt their child's suffering was not `taken seriously', and experienced messages about a `trial and error' prescribing approach and assurance that their child would `grow out of it' as a further `fobbing off', or dismissal. Many carers were ambivalent about eczema treatments, mainly topical corticosteroids but also emollients. Dietary exclusions as a potential cure were of interest to most families, although they perceived healthcare professionals as uninterested in this. Families varied in the extent to which they felt able to manage eczema and the length of time taken to gain control. In some instances, this was linked to not understanding advice or receiving conflicting advice from different healthcare providers.

Conclusion: Poor concordance with treatments seems unsurprising in the presence of such dissonance between carers' and healthcare providers' agendas. Acknowledging the impact of the condition, greater attention to how key messages are delivered and addressing carers' treatment beliefs are likely to improve engagement with effective self-care.
atopic dermatitis, child, eczema, medication adherence, primary health care, qualitative research
0960-1643
261-267
Santer, Miriam
3ce7e832-31eb-4d27-9876-3a1cd7f381dc
Burgess, Hana
c103e930-9676-49d6-bbab-ca29eb7c4222
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Ersser, Steven
09c17777-b01e-495e-b3ad-d7e4035b88e2
Lewis-Jones, Sue
8427ec8f-c5de-4c15-8cd0-3dd0e1e4e03a
Muller, Ingrid
2569bf42-51bd-40da-bbfd-dd4dbbd62cad
Hugh, Catherine
a0909a5a-dabd-4d46-bf28-92599b788e51
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Santer, Miriam
3ce7e832-31eb-4d27-9876-3a1cd7f381dc
Burgess, Hana
c103e930-9676-49d6-bbab-ca29eb7c4222
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Ersser, Steven
09c17777-b01e-495e-b3ad-d7e4035b88e2
Lewis-Jones, Sue
8427ec8f-c5de-4c15-8cd0-3dd0e1e4e03a
Muller, Ingrid
2569bf42-51bd-40da-bbfd-dd4dbbd62cad
Hugh, Catherine
a0909a5a-dabd-4d46-bf28-92599b788e51
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777

Santer, Miriam, Burgess, Hana, Yardley, Lucy, Ersser, Steven, Lewis-Jones, Sue, Muller, Ingrid, Hugh, Catherine and Little, Paul (2012) Experiences of carers managing childhood eczema and their views on its treatment: a qualitative study. British Journal of General Practice, 62 (597), 261-267. (doi:10.3399/bjgp12X636083). (PMID:22520913)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Childhood eczema causes significant impact on quality of life for some families, yet non-concordance with treatment is common.

Aim: To explore parents' and carers' views of childhood eczema and its treatment.

Design and setting: Qualitative interview study in primary care in the south of England.

Method: Carers of children aged ?5 years with a recorded diagnosis of eczema, who reported that eczema was still a problem, were invited to participate. Thirty-one parents were interviewed from 28 families.

Results: Many parents expressed frustration with both medical care and prescribed treatments. They felt their child's suffering was not `taken seriously', and experienced messages about a `trial and error' prescribing approach and assurance that their child would `grow out of it' as a further `fobbing off', or dismissal. Many carers were ambivalent about eczema treatments, mainly topical corticosteroids but also emollients. Dietary exclusions as a potential cure were of interest to most families, although they perceived healthcare professionals as uninterested in this. Families varied in the extent to which they felt able to manage eczema and the length of time taken to gain control. In some instances, this was linked to not understanding advice or receiving conflicting advice from different healthcare providers.

Conclusion: Poor concordance with treatments seems unsurprising in the presence of such dissonance between carers' and healthcare providers' agendas. Acknowledging the impact of the condition, greater attention to how key messages are delivered and addressing carers' treatment beliefs are likely to improve engagement with effective self-care.

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More information

Published date: 1 April 2012
Keywords: atopic dermatitis, child, eczema, medication adherence, primary health care, qualitative research
Organisations: Primary Care & Population Sciences, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 337468
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/337468
ISSN: 0960-1643
PURE UUID: b0c4110e-76a7-4683-8ef4-49f0e64964a3
ORCID for Miriam Santer: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7264-5260
ORCID for Lucy Yardley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3853-883X
ORCID for Ingrid Muller: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9341-6133

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Apr 2012 11:02
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:54

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Contributors

Author: Miriam Santer ORCID iD
Author: Hana Burgess
Author: Lucy Yardley ORCID iD
Author: Steven Ersser
Author: Sue Lewis-Jones
Author: Ingrid Muller ORCID iD
Author: Catherine Hugh
Author: Paul Little

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