Development of a new patient-reported outcome measure for facial acne: the Acne Symptom and Impact Scale (ASIS)

J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Mar;13(3):333-40.


Objective: Facial acne has been associated with impaired health-related quality of life, which is an essential patient outcome for evaluating the success of acne treatment. In consideration of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new recommendations on patient reported outcome (PRO) measures, the objectives of this study were to (1) establish the need for a new PRO measure that assesses facial acne outcomes and satisfies the criteria set forth by the FDA and (2) develop the content of a new facial acne PRO measure appropriate for use in both adolescents and adults as well as adherent to the FDA PRO Guidance.

Methods: A literature and PRO review, patient interviews (concept elicitation), and input from clinical experts were used to develop a conceptual framework for the outcomes deemed important to facial acne patients, and to construct items for a preliminary PRO measure: the Acne Symptom and Impact Scale (ASIS). Cognitive interviews were conducted to pilot test the ASIS.

Results: A review of the literature and PROs revealed that, of the 34 measures identified, no suitable PRO measure for the population of interest was available. The conceptual framework comprised two main themes: symptoms and psychosocial impacts. Concept elicitation interviews included a diverse set of patients (n=48) with facial acne, of various ages: 12-17 years (n=15), 18-25 years (n=20), and 26-50 years (n=13). The most frequently reported symptoms were: pimples, oily skin, scabs/scars/marks, blackheads, acne, and whiteheads. The most frequently reported impacts were impacts on appearance, self-consciousness, annoyance, bothersomeness, mood, social criticism, embarrassment, confidence, and social withdrawal. These reported symptoms and impacts constituted the 15-item draft ASIS. The draft ASIS was modified following the analysis of 20 cognitive interviews, resulting in the current 17-item ASIS.

Conclusions: Results from both the concept elicitation and cognitive interviews demonstrated that the ASIS is content valid in both adolescents and adults with facial acne. The ASIS will undergo psychometric evaluation to further support its validity in both adolescents and adults with facial acne.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Outcome Assessment*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Young Adult