Is online group mindfulness and self-compassion training efficacious in improving the quality of life (QOL) of adults with atopic dermatitis (AD)?
In this randomized clinical trial of 107 adults with AD, mindfulness and self-compassion training in addition to usual care showed significantly greater improvements in patient-reported skin disease–specific QOL compared with a waiting list control at 13-week assessment. There were few dropouts, and the effect size was large.
These results suggest that online group mindfulness and self-compassion training improves QOL in synergy with dermatological treatments.
Quality of life (QOL) of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) is reported to be the lowest among skin diseases. To our knowledge, mindfulness and self-compassion training has not been evaluated for adults with AD.
To evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness and self-compassion training in improving the QOL for adults with AD.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This randomized clinical trial conducted from March 2019 through October 2022 included adults with AD whose Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) score, a skin disease–specific QOL measure, was greater than 6 (corresponding to moderate or greater impairment). Participants were recruited from multiple outpatient institutes in Japan and through the study’s social media outlets and website.
Participants were randomized 1:1 to receive eight 90-minute weekly group sessions of online mindfulness and self-compassion training or to a waiting list. Both groups were allowed to receive any dermatologic treatment except dupilumab.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was the change in the DLQI score from baseline to week 13. Secondary outcomes included eczema severity, itch- and scratching-related visual analog scales, self-compassion and all of its subscales, mindfulness, psychological symptoms, and participants’ adherence to dermatologist-advised treatments.
The study randomized 107 adults to the intervention group (n = 56) or the waiting list (n = 51). The overall participant mean (SD) age was 36.3 (10.5) years, 85 (79.4%) were women, and the mean (SD) AD duration was 26.6 (11.7) years. Among participants from the intervention group, 55 (98.2%) attended 6 or more of the 8 sessions, and 105 of all participants (98.1%) completed the assessment at 13 weeks. The intervention group demonstrated greater improvement in the DLQI score at 13 weeks (between-group difference estimate, −6.34; 95% CI, −8.27 to −4.41; P < .001). The standardized effect size (Cohen d) at 13 weeks was −1.06 (95% CI, −1.39 to −0.74). All secondary outcomes showed greater improvements in the intervention group than in the waiting list group.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this randomized clinical trial of adults with AD, integrated online mindfulness and self-compassion training in addition to usual care resulted in greater improvement in skin disease–specific QOL and other patient-reported outcomes, including eczema severity. These findings suggest that mindfulness and self-compassion training is an effective treatment option for adults with AD.
https://umin.ac.jp/ctr Identifier: UMIN000036277
Kishimoto S, Watanabe N, Yamamoto Y, et al. Efficacy of Integrated Online Mindfulness and Self-compassion Training for Adults With Atopic Dermatitis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2023;159(6):628–636. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.0975
Artificial Intelligence Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.