Predictors of Onset, Persistence and Psychological Impact of childhood Eczema
Eczema is a common childhood skin disorder characterized by generalized dry skin, pruritis, and flexural erythema. In addition to the physical suffering eczema causes, there is increasing recognition of the psychological impact eczema can have on the child and their carers.
However, there is limited research on both the factors that predict onset and persistence of eczema and the psychological consequences of persistent eczema on the child and their family: studies have either been small, cross-sectional, drawn children from specialist settings and/or assessed the psychological effect of the eczema on the child only. These aspects are important to parents because they want to know: what they can do to reduce the chances of their child developing eczema in the first place; and when a diagnosis of eczema is made, what their child’s likely prognosis is. There is also the concern that clinicians have traditionally focused too much on the physical appearance of the skin and not paid enough attention to the psychological impact of persistent disease.
Data from a large birth cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC) study, will be used to identify factors that predict the onset and persistence of childhood eczema and to explore the psychological impact of eczema on the child and their family. Drawing on data collected longitudinally, both antenatal and up to 11 years of age, we will: describe the incidence and prevalence of eczema, compare parental report and clinic diagnoses; examine the data for factors that predict onset and persistence; and compare the psychological well-being of child (Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire) and carers (Edinburgh Post-Natal Depression Score, Crown-Crisp Experiential Index) between those cases without eczema and those with limited or persistent disease.
The findings from this study will help doctors provide patients and their families with more accurate preventative and prognostic advice. In addition, it may promote a more holistic approach to management, with greater attention being given to the psychological as well as the physical aspects of the condition. Finally, it will inform future interventions designed to modify risk factors associated with poorer a physical and/or psychological outlook.
Risk factors for the onset and persistence of childhood eczema: birth cohort study. South West Society for Academic Primary Care Meeting, Southampton, March 2013. [Oral presentation]
Risk factors for the onset and persistence of childhood eczema: birth cohort study. Society for Academic Primary Care Annual Scientific Meeting, Nottingham, July 2013. [Poster]
Risk factors for the onset and persistence of childhood eczema: birth cohort study. British Association of Dermatologists 93rd Annual Meeting, LIverpool, July 2013. [Oral presentation, abstract appears in British Journal of Dermatology 2013; 169 (Suppl 1): 112]
Dr Matthew Ridd (PI), Dr Chris Penfold (RA), Sarah Purdy, Sarah Sullivan, Miriam Santer, Richard Morris, Giles Dunnill, Parker Magin, Amanda Roberts, LIam Mahedy.
NIHR School for Primary Care Research
For more information
Contact Dr Ridd.