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Pediatr Dermatol. 2013 Jan-Feb;30(1):29-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2012.01808.x. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Factors associated with steroid phobia in caregivers of children with atopic dermatitis.

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Division of Allergy, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan.


Topical corticosteroids (TCS) are first-line therapeutic agents for atopic dermatitis (AD). Some patients express irrational fear and anxiety about using TCS, which leads to poor outcomes for AD. Although it is important to understand the factors underlying steroid phobia so that its effects can be minimized, few studies have addressed this subject. Here, we used a questionnaire to investigate predictive factors for steroid phobia in the caregivers (usually mothers) of children with AD. We studied 436 children with AD (mean age 47.6 mos, range 2-236 mos) who newly visited our AD outpatient unit. The caregivers were asked to complete a medical history questionnaire regarding AD. Steroid phobia was analyzed for correlations with other patient and caregiver variables. Overall, 38.3% of the caregivers were reluctant to use TCS on their children's skin. Patient characteristics female sex (odds ratio [OR] = 1.85 vs male; p = 0.005), child's paternal history of AD (OR = 1.94; p = 0.03), and frequent changing of clinics (OR = 1.25; p = 0.03) were predictive factors for steroid phobia. AD severity did not correlate with steroid phobia. Our findings suggest that greater attention to the patient's sex and clinical background of patients with AD is important to the success of AD therapy, regardless of AD severity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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