Therapeutic education in atopic dermatitis: A position paper from the International Eczema Council

JAAD Int. 2021 Mar 5;3:8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jdin.2021.01.001. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that affects as many as 12.5% of children aged 0-17 years and 3% of the adult population. In the United States, 31.6 million children and adults are estimated to be living with AD.

Objective: Therapeutic patient education (TPE) has proven its value in the management of chronic diseases for which adherence to therapy is suboptimal. This article explores experts' opinions and treatment practices to determine if TPE is a recommended and effective method for treating AD.

Methods: Forty-two (51%) of 82 Councilors and Associates of the International Eczema Council (IEC), an international group with expertise in AD, responded to an electronic survey on TPE and AD.

Results: Most respondents (97.5%) agreed that TPE should play an important role in the management of AD. Many respondents (82.9%) believed that all patients with AD, regardless of disease severity, could benefit from TPE.

Limitations: The International Eczema Council survey lacks specific information on AD severity.

Conclusions: Publications have shown the positive effect of TPE on the course of the disease, the prevention of complications, and the autonomy and quality of patient life. Survey respondents agreed that TPE can improve the quality of patient care and patient satisfaction with care.

Keywords: AD, atopic dermatitis; EAP, eczema action plan; IEC, International Eczema Council; QOL, quality of life; TPE, therapeutic patient education; atopic dermatitis; corticosteroids; e-learning; eczema; eczema action plan; pruritus; quality of life; therapeutic education; therapeutic patient education.