BACKGROUND: Hand eczema is a common disease, and continuous preventive skin protection and skin care must be adopted to prevent a chronic course. Hand eczema is not a uniform disease, and counselling must therefore be individually tailored. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of a nurse-led counselling programme, the Healthy Skin Clinic, emphasizing the patient's self-management, resources, and risks. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients (n = 306) referred for diagnostic work-up and treatment of hand eczema were randomized and allocated either to the programme or to usual care. The primary outcome was clinical disease severity at follow-up. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, burden of disease, skin protective behaviours, and self-reported medication adherence. RESULTS: Patients in the intervention group had greater reductions in clinical severity and reported more beneficial behavioural changes at follow-up than those in the usual-care group. This was especially true of patients who were treated solely with topical corticosteroids and who had a primarily exogenous aetiology of hand eczema. However, the effect was very dependent on baseline disease severity. No differences in quality of life or burden of disease were found between the two groups. CONCLUSION: A tailored nurse-led programme of skin protection counselling may be recommended as an essential part of hand eczema treatment.
Contact Dermatitis, 2014, Vol 71, Issue 4, p. 202-214
Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Cost of Illness; Counseling; Eczema; Female; Hand Dermatoses; Humans; Male; Medication Adherence; Middle Aged; Patient Dropouts; Patient Education as Topic; Prospective Studies; Quality of Life; Self Care; Severity of Illness Index; Skin Care; Young Adult