Strategies used for measuring long-term control in atopic dermatitis trials: A systematic review

Sebastien Barbarot, Natasha K. Rogers, Katrina Abuabara, Helene Aubert, Joanne Chalmers, Carsten Flohr, Jon Hanifin, Luigi Naldi, David J. Margolis, Carle Paul, Matthew J. Ridd, Marie Louise Anna Schuttelaar, Eric Simpson, Marie Tauber, Annika Volke, Stephan Weidinger, Sally R. Wilkes, Andreas Wollenberg, Kim S. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. There are no standardized methods for capturing long-term control of AD. Objective We sought to identify how long-term control has been captured in published randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Results will initiate consensus discussions on how best to measure long-term control in the core outcome set for AD. Methods We conducted a systematic review of RCTs of AD treatments published between 2000 and 2013, with a follow-up period of 3 months or longer, at least 1 outcome measure recorded at 3 or more time points, full article available, and published in English. Results In all, 101 of 353 RCTs were eligible. Methods to capture long-term control included: repeated measurement of AD outcomes (92 RCTs; 91%), use of AD medication (29 RCTs; 28.7%), and AD flares/remissions (26 RCTs; 25.7%). Repeated measurements of AD outcomes were typically collected 3 to 5 times during a trial, but analysis methods often failed to make best use of the data. Time to first flare was most commonly used for trials including flare data (21/52). Medication use was recorded based on quantity, potency, and frequency of application. Limitations We included RCT data only. Conclusion This review illustrates the difficulties in measuring long-term control, and points to the need for improved harmonization of outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1038-1044
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • atopic dermatitis
  • atopic eczema
  • flares
  • long-term control
  • outcome measures
  • randomized controlled trials
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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