Self-management Support for Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: A Qualitative Interview Study

J Patient Exp. 2024 Mar 6:11:23743735241231696. doi: 10.1177/23743735241231696. eCollection 2024.


Patients with a chronic skin disease, eg, atopic dermatitis, need self-management skills to increase their quality of life. We explored patients' needs for self-management support from healthcare professionals and how these needs can be met in a dermatology setting. Interpretive description methodology was chosen for iterative data collection and analysis of qualitative interviews with patients with atopic dermatitis. Two mutually dependent themes were found to be supportive of patients' self-management. Personal and disease-related recognition was fundamental to successful support. However, guidance for agenda-setting from healthcare professionals was also needed on the wide range of topics that could be covered in the consultation based on individual needs. Patients need self-management support in addition to what can be found with family, friends, or peers. It is crucial that the support is delivered with an appreciative approach by healthcare professionals with profound knowledge of atopic dermatitis. Equally important is guidance towards agenda-setting, a way to co-construct the consultation with a clear focus on the specific patient's needs.

Keywords: agenda-setting; clinician-patient relationship; patient education; patient engagement; patient satisfaction; patient-centred care; recognition; self-management support.