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BMJ. 2006 Apr 22;332(7547):933-8.

Age related, structured educational programmes for the management of atopic dermatitis in children and adolescents: multicentre, randomised controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Pulmonology and Immunology, Charité, Humboldt University, Berlin.



To determine the effects of age related, structured educational programmes on the management of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in childhood and adolescence.


Multicentre, randomised controlled trial.


Seven hospitals in Germany.


Parents of children with atopic dermatitis aged 3 months to 7 years (n = 274) and 8-12 years (n = 102), adolescents with atopic dermatitis aged 13-18 years (n = 70), and controls (n = 244, n = 83, and n = 50, respectively).


Group sessions of standardised intervention programmes for atopic dermatitis once weekly for six weeks or no education (control group).


Severity of eczema (scoring of atopic dermatitis scale), subjective severity (standardised questionnaires), and quality of life for parents of affected children aged less than 13 years, over 12 months.


Significant improvements in severity of eczema and subjective severity were seen in all intervention groups compared with control groups (total score for severity: age 3 months to 7 years - 17.5, 95% confidence intervals - 19.6 to - 15.3 v - 12.2, - 14.3 to - 10.1; age 8-12 years - 16.0, - 20.0 to - 12.0 v - 7.8, - 11.4; - 4.3; and age 13-18 years - 19.7, - 23.7 to - 15.7 v - 5.2, - 10.5 to 0.1). Parents of affected children aged less than 7 years experienced significantly better improvement in all five quality of life subscales, whereas parents of affected children aged 8-12 years experienced significantly better improvement in three of five quality of life subscales.


Age related educational programmes for the control of atopic dermatitis in children and adolescents are effective in the long term management of the disease.

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