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Practice Gaps
April 2013

Engaging Patients in Eczema Care From Planning Through ImplementationComment on “Improving Patient Education With an Eczema Action Plan”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(4):481-504. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.2866

Although the use of visual aids and action plans is not new in chronic disease management, their use in the dermatologic setting is relatively novel. Engaging patients with eczema in their treatment planning is essential because the patients have a disease that is incurable and relies heavily on patient management of triggers and symptoms. As demonstrated by Shi et al,1 patients find a visual aid helpful and acceptable when discussing treatment for their eczema. More than mere instructions, an action plan details daily management, avoidance of triggers, and handling exacerbations. It is not currently known if dermatologists currently give instructions to patients that focus solely on routine or include other parts of an action plan. One practice gap is that we do not know what proportion of dermatologists think of eczema as a disease that merits the creation of a patient action plan and is well suited to this paradigm of management.

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