Pruritus assessment in clinical trials: consensus recommendations from the International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI) Special Interest Group Scoring Itch in Clinical Trials

Acta Derm Venereol. 2013 Sep 4;93(5):509-14. doi: 10.2340/00015555-1620.


Chronic pruritus is a common symptom and there is an urgent need to test new anti-pruritic substances in high-quality clinical trials. However, no widely accepted standardized and validated method for objectively measuring pruritus is yet available. A special interest group of the International Forum for the Study of Itch has been established to assess scoring methods and questionnaires for use in clinical trials. This paper presents our current recommendations. The set of measures we recommend includes pruritus intensity scales, instruments for assessment of scratch lesions, chronic pruritus course, quality of life and patient benefits.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipruritics / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pruritus / diagnosis*
  • Pruritus / drug therapy
  • Pruritus / psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Design / standards*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antipruritics