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Educational programme ‘reduces eczema severity’ in children

An educational support programme can reduce symptoms of eczema and GP contacts without increasing cost, claim UK researchers.

The study

Researchers recruited 136 children aged three months to six years with atopic eczema to take part with their parents in a 12 week educational support programme, including an educational DVD, online daily diary and telephone helpline. Emollient use, eczema severity, GP consultations and use of topical corticosteroids were recorded.

The findings

There was a 47% reduction in eczema severity using the Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) score, with a mean reduction of 5.38 points, compared with baseline. There was a significant increase in emollient and topical corticosteroid use during the programme. There were fewer GP visits during the 12 weeks of the programme, 0.13 compared with an average of 1.90 visits at baseline.

What this means to GPs?

The authors concluded: ‘The ESP dramatically reduced signs of eczema, sleep disturbance and parental feelings of lack of control.’ The research was authored and funded by Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare.

BMC Dermatology 2013, online 16 May

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