More dermatological training for primary healthcare professionals needed to face atopic dermatitis challenges, finds new EIU report
October 3, 2018
- A new report by The EIU assesses the policy response to atopic dermatitis (AD) in eight countries
- Further primary care professional training on AD could improve patient outcomes
- Multidisciplinary care can benefit patients, as they have multifactorial needs
- Patient groups are filling the gaps in meeting the needs of patients and caregivers
Atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that manifests itself in flares of red, itchy skin, but it is often misunderstood for its wider impacts on patients and caregivers, finds a new report from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), released today.
Five overarching themes are looked at: epidemiology; how the disease is measured; the overall provision of care; the support provided to patients and carers; and awareness and advocacy around the disease.
Most patients with AD are managed in primary care, but due to a limited amount of dermatology training at this level, primary care management is often suboptimal. Of the eight countries analysed, only two provided supplemental primary healthcare professional training programmes on dermatology.
Another important area that countries need to consider is whether they provide multidisciplinary care, as AD patients have multifaceted needs. They could have better outcomes if they had the opportunity for co-ordinated care across a multidisciplinary team, potentially including a dermatologist, paediatrician, respiratory specialist, allergologist, nurse, psychologist and/or nutritionist.
The report also finds patient groups help fill the gaps left open by healthcare systems, including addressing the psychosocial needs of patients.
Elizabeth Sukkar, editor of the report, said: "Atopic dermatitis is not just itchy skin. It can have marked effects on the people who are suffering with the condition, as well as on the caregivers looking after them. Our report highlights the key gaps in the management of the disease, which may spark debate amongst policymakers in these countries.”
The Economist Events will be hosting a webinar, Policy perspectives on chronic skin diseases: Lessons for atopic dermatitis, on October 4th 2018 15:00 BST/10:00 EST. Additional details about the event can be found
About the research
The report is based on several strands of research including a comprehensive literature review, insights from an expert panel, in-depth interviews, and the atopic dermatitis scorecard. The scorecard, which analyses the same eight countries, is a tool that allows policymakers to assess whether they have a range of national policies and guidelines to promote high-quality AD care. The five domains covered in the scorecard are: epidemiology; monitoring and measuring; the provision of care; support for patients and carers; and awareness and advocacy.
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About The Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information can be found at
About The Economist Events
The Economist Events brings the rigour of informed analysis and intelligent debate that The Economist is known for to life on stage in international forums. They host over 80 events annually in over 30 countries on topics that convene world-class thought leaders on a range of strategic business issues.
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About International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Associations
The International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Associations (also known as GlobalSkin) is an umbrella organisation based in Ottawa, Canada. It undertakes research, advocacy and support work and has more than 90 patient association members, located in 25 countries representing 35 disease areas.