Prevalence and Associations of General Practice Registrars’ Management of Impetigo: A Cross-Sectional Analysis From the Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) Study

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Background: Impetigo is a mild bacterial skin infection of childhood that is usually managed empirically in primary care.

Objective: To establish the prevalence and associations of impetigo in general practice (GP) registrars’ consultations.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of the Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) study data.

Results: Impetigo was managed in 0.24% of problems and 0.43% of consultations. Patient variables associated with impetigo presentations were younger age and impetigo as a new problem, while patients with non–English-speaking backgrounds were less likely to present with impetigo. Associated registrar variables were being new to the registrar and practicing in outer regional/remote locations. Compared with all other problems/diagnoses, impetigo more often involved information seeking, ordering pathology, and prescription of medication, but less often involved follow-up or referral.

Conclusions: Impetigo accounts for 0.43 per 100 GP registrar consultations in Australia. Association with outer regional/remote areas may reflect climate and socioeconomic factors that predispose to impetigo. Associated pathology requests may reflect a lack of confidence in GP registrars’ management of impetigo. Cultural differences may exist regarding health-seeking behavior relating to impetigo.

Keywords : impetigo, prevalence, bacterial, primary care, skin infection

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