Consensus criteria for the diagnosis of scabies: A Delphi study of international experts
AuthorEngelman, D; Fuller, LC; Steer, AC
Source TitlePLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsEngelman, D., Fuller, L. C. & Steer, A. C. (2018). Consensus criteria for the diagnosis of scabies: A Delphi study of international experts. PLOS NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES, 12 (5), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006549.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Scabies was added to the WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases portfolio in 2017, and further understanding of the disease burden is now required. There are no uniformly accepted test methods or examination procedures for diagnosis, which limits the interpretation of research and epidemiological findings. The International Alliance for the Control of Scabies (IACS) designated harmonization of diagnostic procedures as a priority for the development of a global control strategy. Therefore, we aimed to develop consensus criteria for the diagnosis of scabies. METHODOLOGY / PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted an iterative, consensus (Delphi) study involving international experts in the diagnosis of scabies. Panel members were recruited through expression of interest and targeted invitation of experts. The Delphi study consisted of four rounds of anonymous surveys. Rounds 1 and 2 involved generation and ranking an extensive list of possible features. In Rounds 3 and 4, participants were presented results from previous rounds and indicated agreement with a series of draft criteria. Panel participants (n = 34, range per Round 28-30) were predominantly highly experienced clinicians, representing a range of clinical expertise and all inhabited continents. Based on initial rounds, a draft set of criteria were developed, incorporating three levels of diagnostic certainty-Confirmed Scabies, Clinical Scabies and Suspected Scabies. Consensus was reached in Round 4, with a very high level of agreement (> 89%) for all levels of criteria and subcategories. Adoption of the criteria was supported by 96% of panel members. CONCLUSIONS / SIGNIFICANCE: Consensus criteria for scabies diagnosis were established with very high agreement. The 2018 IACS Criteria for the Diagnosis of Scabies can be implemented for scabies research and mapping projects, and for surveillance after control interventions. Validation of the criteria is required.
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