Cellulitis sufferers wanted for a new research survey

People who have had the painful and serious skin infection ‘cellulitis’ are being asked to help scientists design new medical research to improve treatment of the condition.

Cellulitis is a common condition. It can affect some groups of people more than others. There has been little research to improve the lives of sufferers. The condition is often treated by GPs but it can sometimes be more serious and result in hospital admission.

Researchers at The University of Nottingham’s Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology have done two large research studies in recent years. These studies looked at ways to prevent further attacks of cellulitis. Now they want to ask patients who have had cellulitis, and their close families, to take part in a survey. The results of the survey will help to ensure that future research into this severe skin infection addresses the questions that are most important to people affected by it.

Professor Kim Thomas said: “We are launching a new survey to allow those who are affected by cellulitis, as well as healthcare professionals who treat it, to share their views on what questions we researchers should be answering. When you are diagnosed with a common condition, you imagine that people are working hard to find better treatments. But this simply isn’t the case for cellulitis so we are determined to put this right.”

Cellulitis accounts for two to three per cent of hospital admissions in England. In 2012, around 50,000 people were admitted to hospital with the disease. It is treated with antibiotics into a vein in the arm. Cellulitis is often difficult to diagnose so treatment can be delayed. People who have had one infection get damage to the skin. This increases the risk of future attacks.

The first survey, which takes about five minutes to complete, will be open until late May 2016 and can be accessed here. A second survey will then be opened in November 2016 asking people to rank questions on cellulitis in order of priority. The results of the two surveys are planned for release in early 2017.

The survey was developed by the James Lind Alliance Cellulitis Priority Setting Partnership with partner organisations including charities, research funders, clinicians and patients.

The Cellulitis Priority Setting Partnership is led by a Steering Group of researchers, doctors, patients and patient representatives, with funding from the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UKDCTN).

or to take part in the survey visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/cel­lulitispsp or email cellulitis-psp [a] nottingham.ac (p) uk