Poor adherence to treatment is a major factor limiting treatment outcomes in patients with atopic dermatitis.
The purpose of our systematic review is to identify techniques that have been tested to increase treatment adherence in atopic dermatitis.
A MEDLINE search was performed for clinical trials focusing on interventions used to increase adherence in atopic dermatitis. Four articles were retrieved. References of these studies were analyzed yielding three more trials. The seven results were evaluated by comparing the intervention used to improve adherence, how adherence was assessed, and the outcome of the intervention tested.
Different approaches to increase adherence such as written eczema action plans, educational workshops, extra office visits, and use of an atopic dermatitis educator were evaluated. All interventions increased adherence rates or decreased severity in patients, except for two. The MEDLINE search yielded limited results due to a lack of studies conducted specifically for atopic dermatitis and adherence was measured using different methods making the studies difficult to compare.
Interventions including patient education, eczema action plans, and a quick return for a follow-up visit improve adherence, but based on the lack of clinical trials, developing new techniques to improve adherence could be as valuable as developing new treatments.
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