A National Survey of Skin Infections, Care Behaviors and MRSA Knowledge in the United States

J Wilder, D Wegener, M David, C Macal, R Daum
2014 PLoS ONE   unpublished
A nationally representative sample of approximately 2000 individuals was surveyed to assess SSTI infections over their lifetime and then prospectively over six-months. Knowledge of MRSA, future likelihood to self-treat a SSTI and self-care behaviors was also queried. Chi square tests, linear and multinomial regression were used for analysis. About 50% of those with a reported history of a SSTI typical of MRSA had sought medical treatment. MRSA knowledge was low: 28% of respondents could
more » ... dents could describe MRSA. Use of protective self-care behaviors that may reduce transmission, such as covering a lesion, differed with knowledge of MRSA and socio-demographics. Those reporting a history of a MRSA-like SSTI were more likely to respond that they would self-treat than those without such a history (OR 2.05 95% CI 1.40, 3.01; p,0.001). Since half of respondents reported not seeking care for past lesions, incidence determined from clinical encounters would greatly underestimate true incidence. MRSA knowledge was not associated with seeking medical care, but was associated with self-care practices that may decrease transmission.