The management of scabies outbreaks in residential care facilities for the elderly in England: A review of current health protection guidelines

L. C.J. White*, S. Lanza, J. Middleton, K. Hewitt, L. Freire-Moran, C. Edge, M. Nicholls, J. Rajan-Iyer, Jackie Cassell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Commonly thought of as a disease of poverty and overcrowding in resource-poor settings globally, scabies is also an important public health issue in residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) in high-income countries such as the UK. We compared and contrasted current local Health Protection Team (HPT) guidelines for the management of scabies outbreaks in RCFE throughout England. We performed content analysis on 20 guidelines, and used this to create a quantitative report of their variation in key dimensions. Although the guidelines were generally consistent on issues such as the treatment protocols for individual patients, there was substantial variation in their recommendations regarding the prophylactic treatment of contacts, infection control measures and the roles and responsibilities of individual stakeholders. Most guidelines did not adequately address the logistical challenges associated with mass treatment in this setting. We conclude that the heterogeneous nature of the guidelines reviewed is an argument in favour of national guidelines being produced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3121-3130
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume144
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Cambridge University Press.

Keywords

  • Elderly medicine
  • infectious disease control
  • outbreaks
  • residential care
  • scabies

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