Qurtas, Dindar Sharif, & Nazar Pauls Shabila (2020, September). Using Q-methodology to understand the perspectives and practical experiences of dermatologists about treatment difficulties of cutaneous leishmaniasis. BMC Infectious Diseases, 20, art. 645. (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05365-0) (Access: https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-020-05365-0)

Abstract: Background: During the outbreak of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that started in 2015, the course of the disease and the treatment were not consistent with the available literature. Physicians, particularly dermatologists, faced challenges with treating the cutaneous leishmaniasis lesions with high rates of treatment failure and resistance to treatment. We used Q-methodology to understand the range and diversities of opinions and the practical experiences of dermatologists about the treatment difficulties of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Methods: This Q-methodology study was carried out in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and involved 37 dermatologists. A set of 40 statements related to different aspects of difficulties and uncertainties of treating cutaneous leishmaniasis was prepared. The dermatologists were requested to distribute the 40 statements into a scaled grid of nine piles from least agree to most agree. We applied by-person factor analysis using PQMethod 2.35 for the data analysis. Results: The analysis revealed two different viewpoints about the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis and a consensus viewpoint. The first viewpoint emphasized the use of sodium stibogluconate-based combination therapy, concerns with treatment failure, and lack of compliance with the treatment. The second viewpoint emphasized the lack of standard treatment and advances in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis. There was a consensus between both groups of respondents about many aspects of the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis, including considering sodium stibogluconate the first drug of choice for cutaneous leishmaniasis treatment. Conclusions: This study revealed a diversity of viewpoints and uncertainties about the effectiveness of the available treatment modalities and treatment difficulties and failure. Interrupted supply and poor quality of the available drugs and lack of a standard and advanced treatment are the main problems facing the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis. More research is required to determine the best treatment modalities for the different types of cutaneous leishmaniasis. There is a need for the development of treatment guidelines specific to the Iraqi context with a particular focus on the treatment of the resistant and atypical cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Dindar S Qurtas <dindar.qurtas@hmu.edu.krd> is in the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq.

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