Process utilities for topical treatment in atopic dermatitis

Jenny Retzler, Adam Smith, Matthew Reaney, Raj Rout, Richard Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Management of atopic dermatitis (AD) typically requires application of topical treatments, often multiple times a day. The cosmetic properties and burdensome application of these treatments can be detrimental to quality of life (QoL). Patients who achieve good disease control through use of systemic therapies may reduce the frequency and amount of topical applications, improving QoL. This study aimed to quantify the utility and disutility for topical AD treatment processes. Methods: Seven vignettes describing different skincare regimens for people with moderate-to-severe AD were developed with input from healthcare professionals. 484 respondents from the general population completed time trade-off items for each vignette. Utility values for each regimen, and disutilities associated with the impact of changes to skincare regimens, were calculated. Analysis of variance assessed differences between skincare regimens. Results: As skincare regimens increased in intensity (0.7968 for the most intense; 0.9999 for the least), utility values decreased. There were no statistically significant differences between skincare regimens followed by patients with good disease control (0.9862 to 0.9999); however, when compared to those involving topical corticosteroids and emollient combinations (0.7968 to 0.8835), significant differences were observed (p < 0.001). The largest disutilities (0.1521 to 0.1705) were between skincare regimens describing the use of topical corticosteroids plus emollient and those followed by patients with good disease control. Conclusions: The application of topical treatments has a detrimental effect on QoL, which increases with the duration and frequency of applications. Further research is needed to investigate how health and process utilities interact and both can be integrated into medical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2373-2381
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number9
Early online date3 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019


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