A systematic review of Investigator Global Assessment (IGA) in atopic dermatitis (AD) trials: Many options, no standards

Masaki Futamura, Yael A. Leshem, Kim S. Thomas, Helen Nankervis, Hywel C. Williams, Eric L. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Background Investigators often use global assessments to provide a snapshot of overall disease severity in dermatologic clinical trials. Although easy to perform, the frequency of use and standardization of global assessments in studies of atopic dermatitis (AD) is unclear. Objectives We sought to assess the frequency, definitions, and methods of analysis of Investigator Global Assessment in randomized controlled trials of AD. Methods We conducted a systematic review using all published randomized controlled trials of AD treatments in the Global Resource of Eczema Trials database (2000-2014). We determined the frequency of global scales application and defining features. Results Among 317 trials identified, 101 trials (32%) used an investigator-performed global assessment as an outcome measure. There was large variability in global assessments between studies in nomenclature, scale size, definitions, outcome description, and analysis. Both static and dynamic scales were identified that ranged from 4- to 7-point scales. North American studies used global assessments more commonly than studies from other countries. Limitations The search was restricted to the Global Resource of Eczema Trials database. Conclusion Global assessments are used frequently in studies of AD, but their complete lack of standardized definitions and implementation preclude any meaningful comparisons between studies, which in turn impedes data synthesis to inform clinical decision-making. Standardization is urgently required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-294
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Investigator Global Assessment
  • atopic dermatitis
  • atopic eczema
  • global assessment
  • outcome measure
  • randomized controlled trial
  • severity
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of Investigator Global Assessment (IGA) in atopic dermatitis (AD) trials: Many options, no standards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this