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J Dermatolog Treat. 2010 Jan;21(1):28-33. doi: 10.3109/09546630903386598.

Physicians' perceptions of an eczema action plan for atopic dermatitis.

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  • 1Center for Dermatology Research, Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1071, USA.



Poor adherence to topical medications in atopic dermatitis may lead to exposure to more costly and potentially toxic systemic agents. Written action plans (WAPs) improve adherence and treatment outcomes in asthma patients and may be useful for children with atopic dermatitis.


To assess physicians' perceptions of a WAP for atopic dermatitis and their openness to using it.


An Eczema Action Plan (EAP) was modeled from those used in pediatric asthma. A brief survey to assess the perceived practicality and usefulness of the EAP was sent to 48 pediatricians in our local area and to 17 pediatric dermatologists nationally. Survey items included layout, graphics, readability, accuracy, and utility. Qualitative analyses were performed due to small sample sizes.


Seventeen pediatricians from five community practices and eight pediatric dermatologists responded (response rates of 35% and 41%, respectively). Layout was rated as excellent by 59% of pediatricians and 43% of pediatric dermatologists, the graphics were rated good (60% and 70%), the readability as good to excellent (100% and 86%), the accuracy as excellent or good (83% and 86%), and usefulness as good to excellent (100% of both groups). Most (71%) of the pediatric dermatologists reported already having their own patient education materials for atopic dermatitis, but none of the pediatricians did. All pediatricians and 60% of pediatric dermatologists reported they were likely to use the EAP in their clinical practices. Limitations included the sample size being small, but it still provided for qualitative assessment of generalists and sub-specialists. We did not assess how the EAP would be perceived by patients or their families. The practice settings of the community and academic physicians are not identical, which may make for weakened comparisons.


Pediatricians are open to using an EAP for atopic dermatitis. If an EAP were effective at improving adherence and outcomes in atopic dermatitis, widespread implementation should be feasible.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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