Identifying Core Outcome Domains in Chronic Skin Disease Using the Best-Worst Scaling Method

JAMA Dermatol. 2024 Apr 1;160(4):441-446. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.6245.


Importance: The use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) potentially holds promise as an opportunity to improve outcomes and quality of care for patients with skin disease, but the routine use of PROMs remains limited. While the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) has several strengths and domains relevant to those with chronic skin disease, it is not clear which are most useful.

Objective: To determine which PROMIS domains are most meaningful to those with chronic skin disease to develop a PROMIS profile that effectively captures the experience of living with these skin diseases.

Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study was based on data gathered from an internet survey that was administered to a sample of adult respondents in the US on the Prolific Platform and ResearchMatch and through the National Psoriasis Foundation. A list of PROMIS domains relevant to chronic skin disease was developed through literature review. These domains were included in a best-worst scaling exercise, in which participants were shown 12 sets of 4 domains and asked to choose which domain in each set was the most important and least important to their experience. Participants completed the survey between December 2022 and June 2023. Data were analyzed in June 2023.

Main outcomes and measures: Ratio-scaled preference score for each of the domains.

Results: Of 939 total participants, 559 (59.5%) were female, 20 (2.1%) gender nonconforming, 7 (0.7%) transgender men, and 1 (0.1%) transgender women; there were 4 American Indian/Alaska Native (0.4%), 50 Asian (5.3%), 63 Black (6.7%), 66 Hispanic or Latino/a/x (7.0%), 2 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.2%), 749 White (79.8%), and 42 multiracial individuals (4.5%). The survey was completed by 200 participants with acne, 316 with psoriasis, 199 with atopic dermatitis, and 224 with various chronic skin diseases. For those with acne, the highest-scored domains were body image (15.66), appearance (14.96), life satisfaction (11.29), depression (9.25), and anxiety (9.18). For those with psoriasis, the highest-scored domains were life satisfaction (11.31), appearance (11.05), itch (10.98), pain (9.97), and body image (8.75). For those with atopic dermatitis, the highest-scored domains were itch (12.60), life satisfaction (11.65), appearance (11.40), body image (11.25), and pain (10.03).

Conclusion and relevance: The results of this study suggest that body image, appearance, life satisfaction, itch, pain, anxiety, and depression were highly rated across the surveys. By identifying the PROMIS domains most important to individuals with chronic skin disease, clinicians can choose the domains that are most relevant to patients. In addition, this may guide the construction of a PROMIS profile that effectively captures the experience of living with these skin diseases and can serve as a patient-reported measure of disease severity and treatment effectiveness.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris*
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Atopic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Psoriasis*