Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 3, March 2009

Paediatric vascular birthmarks The psychological impact and the role of the GP

Claire J Taylor Gideon Sandler Susan Adams
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This study was designed to investigate the psychosocial impact on the family of a child with a vascular birthmark and examine the role of the general practitioner in meeting the family’s needs.
Sixty-eight percent of parents overestimated the size of their child’s lesion when asked to draw it; 15% said some lifestyle modifications had to be made to accommodate their child’s condition; 63% were concerned about their child being teased at school; and 36% had issues of self blame and embarrassment. Expectations from the clinic included information (68%), treatment (47%) and reassurance (26%).
Vascular birthmarks are common. Treatment strategies are improving, but there is a need to adequately address the psychosocial impact that these lesions have, both on parents and children. The GP is the carer best placed to meet these needs.

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