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Nurses more likely to offer emollient advice than GPs

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Nurses spend more time with dermatology patients Nurses spend more time with dermatology patients

Community and practice nurses are more likely to discuss emollient therapy with patients presenting with skin conditions than GPs, finds new study by Cetraben.

The survey of 500 primary care practitioners (250 GPs and 250 practice nurses) found that 30 % of nurses discussed emollient preferences at every consultation compared with just 18% of GPs.

Dr Anthony Bewley, a condultant dermatologist, said there are several reasons why nurses are more likely to discuss emollient therapy than GPs. 'The first is that nurses may have more time to sit with patients to discuss application. Nurses also have more practical experience on different emollient options so are able to explain different treatment options to patients.'

Two thirds of the respondents also believed that more education is needed to improve emollient use by patients with eczema.

Dr Bewley agreed with this and said that this was the role of consultants and dermatologist specialists to educate more nurses and GPs.

Less than 40% of primary care practitioners advised their patients on how to apply their emollients (in the direction of hair growth and avoid rubbing) and only 73 % gave instruction on how frequently to use it.

Two thirds also believe that roughly 40% of their patients apply their emollient incorrectly, with just 4% feeling confident the majority of their patients are using it correctly.

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