Improved management of childhood atopic dermatitis after individually tailored nurse consultations: A pilot study

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Abstract

Background:

For optimal therapy of atopic dermatitis (AD) in children, parent education for treatment strategies that consider the episodic course and multiple triggers is essential. Regular consultations with doctors often cannot appropriately provide this. Therefore, supplemental patient education tools have been established. We evaluate single nurse consultations, assessing their global benefit, parents' self-confidence, and children's symptoms and sleep disturbance.

Methods:

Parents of children with AD were invited for an individually tailored nurse consultation by the doctor initially consulted in cases where difficulties in implementing care recommendations were detected and established therapeutic patient education (TPE) group programmes were impracticable. Parents' estimation of their own self-confidence, current disease severity and its treatment was assessed by a questionnaire at the consultation and by telephone 14 days later.

Results:

Parents of 1628 children (mean age 1.7 yr) attended consultations in 22 centres (317-6 patients; median 38). At follow-up parents indicated a significantly increased self-confidence to handle the recommendations and >90% rated the consultation highly supportive. The frequency of severe symptoms was significantly lower (20% of initial cases), as of moderate symptoms (50%). Median scores for sleep disruption and pruritus decreased by >50%.

Conclusions:

Individually tailored single nurse consultations for AD are associated with a significant benefit for the families after 14 days. We recommend these in addition to the usual medical care in cases where participation in TPE programmes is impossible or a short-time follow-up is required. To substantiate their effect, studies with a long-term follow-up and a control group are warranted.

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