Childhood Eczema: An Environmental Scan

Table of Contents

3.2.6.1 Primary Care Treatment and Eczema: The Health Care Team

The importance of parents and health care providers working together in the treatment of childhood eczema cannot be overemphasized. It is pertinent to remember that many of the funding models for primary health care, where physicians and nurses are often front line workers for patients and particularly parents whose children have eczema often do not allow for optimum patient education, primarily because consultation times are in high demand and restricted. (49). Importantly, primary care providers should be aware of the difference in patterns of presentation of eczema along age and gender characteristics to provide the best diagnosis and treatment along with understanding predisposition characteristics not only to eczema but asthma as well (17;50;51).

Research out of Australia demonstrates the importance of the transdisciplinary nature of the health-care team in treating patients with eczema. Children with mild to moderate eczema who were treated by nursing staff showed considerably better treatment outcomes compared to children who were treated with by either a dermatologists or pediatricians. Conclusions of the study suggested that the amount of time spent with the children by the nurses compared to other clinicians (90 versus 40 minutes respectively), the consistency of bathing, application of emollients and management of wet dressing all led to improved patient outcomes. The findings illustrate the importance of the patient centered model of care and the role allied health care professionals have in providing better quality of care for patients beyond the sole primary care physician and pediatrician (49).