The significance of structured parental educational intervention on childhood atopic dermatitis: a randomized controlled trial

Research paper by N. Pustišek, M. Šitum, M. Vurnek Živković, S. Ljubojević Hadžavdić, M. Vurnek, T. Niseteo

Indexed on: 10 Mar '16Published on: 30 Nov '15Published in: Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology


Parental education is important in managing childhood chronic diseases.The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of a short‐term structured educational programme for parents of children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis ( AD), aged 3 months to 7 years, on the clinical course of AD, parental stress, anxiety and the quality of family life.One hundred thirty‐four parents with AD children were recruited in a randomized controlled clinical trial at the Outpatient Unit of Pediatric Dermatology, Children's Hospital in Zagreb. The primary outcome was change in the severity of eczema measured using SCORing AD (SCORAD) and Patient Oriented (PO) SCORAD index, changes of symptom scores for pruritus and sleep disturbance. Secondary outcomes included change in stress level according to the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS); change in anxiety level according to State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and change in the quality of family life according to the Croatian version of the Family Dermatology Life Quality Index (FDLQI).Participants in the intervention group had a significantly lower SCORAD (P = 0.000), PO SCORAD (P = 0.000) index, pruritus (P = 0.000), sleep disturbance (P = 0.001), level of perceived stress (P = 0.024) and anxiety as a state (P = 0.42) than those in the control group at the second visit. After the educational programme, participants in the intervention group had a significantly lower impact of AD on the total quality of family life (P = 0.006). We found a statistically significant difference between the two groups with respect to additional education received between the visits. The control group had acquired significantly more additional education (P = 0.007). There was no significant difference between groups in the amount of corticosteroid used.Our structured educational programme had a positive effect on AD severity, quality of family life, parental stress and anxiety.