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Primary care management of hidradenitis suppurativa: a cross-sectional survey of UK GPs

Collier, Fiona, Howes, Rachel, Rodrigues, Jeremy, Thomas, Kim, Leighton, Paul and Ingram, John 2021. Primary care management of hidradenitis suppurativa: a cross-sectional survey of UK GPs. British Journal of General Practice Open , 0051. 10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0051

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Background Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease which causes painful discharging nodules and skin tunnels. HS has associations with several systemic diseases, including cardiovascular (CV) disease and anxiety-depression. High levels of chronic morbidity suggest an important role for Primary Care. However, little evidence exists regarding current management of HS and its co-morbidities in UK General Practice. Aim To describe current practice amongst UK GPs in treating and referring people with HS Design & setting Web-based survey circulated to UK Primary Care Dermatology Society members and GPs in Forth Valley, Scotland. Method Survey responses were analysed with descriptive statistics. Results 134 UK GPs completed the survey. 71% (n=94) saw at least one patient with HS in the previous month. 94% (n=125) reported confidence in diagnosis, and 87% (n=120) in initial treatment of HS. Most GPs initiated topical treatments and extended courses of oral antibiotic for HS, and many advised regarding adverse lifestyle factors. A minority provided analgesia, or screening for CV disease risk factors and anxiety-depression. Most GPs referred to Dermatology if Secondary Care input was required, with few referrals to specialised multi-disciplinary services. Conclusion GPs regularly diagnose and manage uncomplicated HS, but screening for important co-morbidities associated with HS is not common practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This article is Open Access: CC BY license (
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners
ISSN: 2398-3795
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 18 June 2021
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 14:16

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