The Relationship Between Dermatologist- and Patient-Reported Acne Severity Measures and Treatment Recommendations

J Cutan Med Surg. Sep-Oct 2015;19(5):464-9. doi: 10.1177/1203475415576464. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


Background: Acne treatment recommendations for individual patients may be derived from multiple factors including dermatologist- and patient-reported constructs.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of dermatologist- and patient-reported measures on acne treatment recommendations by dermatologists.

Methods: An observational cross-sectional survey of acne patients was conducted with patient-reported quality of life and dermatologist-reported measures of primary and secondary (scar) acne severity using 3 assessment approaches: maximal regional grade, total grade, and facial grade.

Results: The most highly associated factors with acne treatment recommendations were patient emotions, maximal regional acne severity, and total acne scar grade. Better acne-specific quality of life was negatively related to acne treatment recommendation intensity, while all 3 grading approaches were positively related to acne treatment recommendations.

Conclusions: For dermatologists, overall acne severity is most highly associated with maximal regional acne grade, total scar grade, and patient's emotional response to acne.

Keywords: acne; dermatology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / diagnosis*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Canada
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index