Patterns of treatment and resource utilization in the treatment of external genital warts in England and Wales

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Our objective was to identify patterns of treatment and resources used in achieving complete clearance of external genital warts (EGWs)

A retrospective case note review was carried out at six genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in the UK. Case notes from 2366 patients presenting with EGWs were reviewed and 1200 patients with complete episodes of care were identified. Analysis showed that staff-applied therapy dominated treatment practice but there was considerable diversity in treatment modalities across study sites. The average number of visits was 5.71 visits for males: 6.25 visits for females but a substantial minority of patients attended significantly in excess of these averages. Approximately two-thirds of patients failed to achieve complete clearance of warts with their initial therapy.

There is little consistency in treatment patterns of care for EGWs across the sites studied. Initial therapy choices are largely ineffective, requiring changes in treatment modality and multiple clinic visits. Increased utilization of patient-applied therapies might result in increased cost effectiveness.

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