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Epidemiology of molluscum contagiosum in children

Olsen, Jonathan Robin 2015. Epidemiology of molluscum contagiosum in children. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a common skin condition in children presenting to primary care in the United Kingdom (UK) and is typically diagnosed based on its distinct appearance. There are limited data on the epidemiology of MC in UK children. Little is known about its presenting symptoms, time to resolution, likelihood of transmission and impact on quality of life (QoL), highlighted within a systematic review of the epidemiology of childhood MC presented early in this thesis. This thesis aimed to address this gap in evidence. A retrospective longitudinal cohort of 9,245,847 children registered at primary care centres in the UK extracted routinely collected data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). The study highlighted decreasing trends in consultation rates for MC by 50% during the 10 year study period 2004-13. Children who were previously diagnosed with atopic eczema were more likely to have a future MC consultation than controls. The ‘Molluscum Contagiosum Diagnostic Tool for Parents’ (MCDTP) was developed to aid parents in diagnosing spots, lumps or bumps on a child’s skin as being MC or not. The MCDTP was assessed in primary care centres to measure its diagnostic accuracy (n=203, sensitivity=92%, specificity=88%), and used to recruit a prospective community cohort of 306 UK children with MC. Results showed that MC lesions were most common on legs and arms, and nearly 70% of children had lesions in more than one site. The average time to resolution was 12 months, however over a quarter still had lesions after 18 months and 12% after 24 months. Nearly half of households reported transmission to one or more children from an index case. Overall MC had a small effect on QoL however, 1 in 10 children experienced a very severe effect on QoL. The findings presented in this thesis can facilitate self-care of MC in the community where parents can self-diagnose their child’s spot, lumps or bumps on the skin as MC or not using the MCDTP. These data can provide parents, and other interested stakeholders, with accurate information of the epidemiology of the condition to aid the management in both clinical and community settings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:53

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