Background: Eczema is a common chronic or chronically relapsing skin disease that has a substantial impact on quality of life (QoL). By means of a consensus-based process, the Harmonising Outcome Measures in Eczema (HOME) initiative has identified QoL as one of the four core outcome domains to be assessed in all eczema trials (Allergy 67(9):1111-7, 2012). Various measurement instruments exist to measure QoL in adults with eczema, but there is a great variability in both content and quality (for example, reliability and validity) of the instruments used, and it is not always clear if the best instrument is being used. Therefore, the aim of the proposed research is a comprehensive systematic assessment of the measurement properties of the existing measurement instruments that were developed and/or validated for the measurement of patient-reported QoL in adults with eczema.
Methods/design: This study is a systematic review of the measurement properties of patient-reported measures of QoL developed and/or validated for adults with eczema. Medline via PubMed and EMBASE will be searched using a selection of relevant search terms. Eligible studies will be primary empirical studies evaluating, describing, or comparing measurement properties of QoL instruments for adult patients with eczema. Eligibility assessment and data abstraction will be performed independently by two reviewers. Evidence tables will be generated for study characteristics, instrument characteristics, measurement properties, and interpretability. The quality of the measurement properties will be assessed using predefined criteria. Methodological quality of studies will be assessed using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist. A best evidence synthesis will be undertaken if more than one study has investigated a particular measurement property.
Discussion: The proposed systematic review will produce a comprehensive assessment of measurement properties of existing QoL instruments in adult patients with eczema. We aim to identify one best currently available instrument to measure QoL in eczema patients.
Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42015017138.