We asked about atopic dermatitis treatments and you answered
This past January, many of you responded an online survey to evaluate patient satisfaction and the role of doctors in the treatment of the most serious form of eczema, atopic dermatitis. We learned that the vast majority of participants:
- Are NOT satisfied with their treatment
- Do not think doctors know how to treat atopic dermatitis
- Have seen five or more doctors for their or their child’s atopic dermatitis
Here is what some of you said about what makes a good doctor:
- Compassion, being a good listener, responding to the patient’s questions, having up-to-date knowledge of the research and which treatments are most likely to be useful vs. not useful (including alternative medicine approaches) for a particular patient are all important roles for the doctor.
- Last year when I was in the midst of an eczema flare that was difficult to get under control, I appreciated my current doctor asking me what MY goal was at that point.
- I realize that not all doctors can or will have first-hand experience living with such conditions, but there is an emotional and psychological piece that goes along with the physical part. I’m not sure of the answer, but there is a definite problem that is not being served.
- Doctors need to provide more education to patients about managing eczema beyond ointments. Also, they should refer severe sufferers to physicians who specialize in advanced therapies. Most patients feel hopeless when traditional treatments fail.
The results of this survey are called patient reported outcomes. That is, information given by patients on their experience with having a particular disease or set of symptoms. Understanding the patient experience provides critical information to physicians, health insurance companies, government agencies (such as the FDA or CDC), drug manufacturers, clinical researchers, and even patients on how to manage their condition.