Atopic Dermatitis Severity in Children treated at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Parent/Caregiver Knowledge on the disease

Mphahele, Matilda Ramaite
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Background Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by pruritus, a relapsing course, and usually begins in infancy. AD was found to be the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease in a paediatric dermatology clinic in Cape Town, South Africa. The prevalence and incidence of atopic dermatitis is increasing worldwide. AD has an impact on the quality of life in children and has been shown to interfere with normal development and education. Objectives To determine the severity of AD in children at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, caregiver general knowledge of the disease, and the relationship between the two. Methods This cross-sectional prospective study was conducted on 215 paediatric dermatology patients. The children and caregiver’s demographic data were collected. The children were examined, and the severity of AD was calculated using the SCORAD scale. A score was given to grade the severity of AD. The general knowledge AD questionnaire was used to assess the caregiver’s knowledge of the disease. The relationship between the severity of AD and the general knowledge of the caregivers was also assessed. Results Approximately 98.6% of patients studied were black African. The average age of the children (n=215) was 5.51years (sd.=5.52). The average age of the caregivers (n=215) was 32 years (sd.=8.87). Sixty eight percent of the caregivers had an educational level of grade 12 and below (ISCED level X-4). Sixty-nine per cent of the children had moderate severity of AD. The average score for caregiver general knowledge of AD was 82.33% (sd.=15.54). Two thirds (n=145) of caregivers knew about the importance of moisturisers in caring for patients with AD. A weak direct relationship was found between the parent’s level of education and general knowledge at r = 0.198, which was significant at level less than 0.01 [p value= 0.004]. There was no statistically significant relationship between AD severity and the caregiver’s general knowledge of AD [p value= -0.873]. Conclusion Our patients had moderate AD and relatively good caregiver AD general knowledge. There was no statistically significant relationship between AD severity and the caregiver’s general knowledge about AD. However, a weak direct relationship between the caregiver’s general knowledge and level of education was found in our study.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Medicine in Dermatology to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2022