Education Outcomes in Children Using Topical Corticosteroids - EMJ

Does Education Improve Outcomes in Children Using Topical Corticosteroids?

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VIDEO education on topical steroids reduces caregiver concern and improves outcomes of paediatric patients with eczematous dermatitis, suggests a prospective single-centre study from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. While this treatment is widely used, negative attitudes exists among caregivers, due to concerns about side effects.

A total of 150 caregivers of patients under 18 years at the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, were included in the study. They were asked to complete a survey on family medical history related to eczematous dermatitis, as well as a visual analogue scale. They were further assessed on their Topical Corticosteroid Phobia (TOPICOP©) score. After completing the survey, they were shown a 6.5-minute educational video explaining the use, risks, and misconceptions of topical steroids. They were then followed up 4 weeks later.

Data showed that 62.0% of caregivers had concerns about topical corticosteroids before watching the video, which decreased to 10.7% after. Mean TOPICOP score when asking participants about their beliefs of negative effects of the treatment improved from 43.81±13.45 before the video, to 31.85±16.56 after (P<0.001). Mean TOPICOP score relating to worries and fears also decreased, from 56.22±18.27 before, to 40.41±18.55 after watching the video (P<0.001). Results also showed that the mean visual analogue scale score was 1.57±1.88 after the video, compared to 5.75±2.62 before (P<0.001).

The researchers further found that clinical outcomes were improved after caregivers watched the educational video. While 8% of patients did not experience a flare-up before the study, this improved to around one-quarter of patients 4 weeks after. The number of patients experiencing four flare-ups per month further decreased from 22.0% before the study, to 8.7% after watching the video.

The team concluded: “Video education had a positive impact on clinical outcomes after 4 weeks, resulting in a decrease in recurrence rates, duration of the rash, and duration of topical corticosteroid use.”

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