Methods: This multi-center survey was conducted in patients with AD or their caregivers from 9 centers with questionnaires on diagnosis and management of AD.
Results: A total of 324 patients and caregivers participated in the study. Initial diagnosis of AD was mostly made by physicians (80.6 %), followed by self-diagnosis. Patients and caregivers believe that allergic substances such as house dust mite, food, pollution are responsible for AD development. Allergy tests were performed for 194 patients (59.9%), but allergen avoidance strategy was instructed in only 81 subjects (25.0%). Regarding the measures of AD management, they thought that moisturization, environmental control, improvement of body constitution are important. Major topical medications are steroid (81.8%) and topical immunomodulators (34.3%), while systemic medications include systemic steroid (42.6 %), anti-histamines (36.4 %), and cyclosporins (2.8 %). 181(55.9%) subjects have tried complementary alternative medicine including Oriental medicine. Many subjects wished for personalized management, use of specialized institutions for AD, and evidence-based, effective, and sustainable treatment to be incorporated in their sessions.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest there is still an unmet healthcare need for patients with AD in real practice. Customized, evidence-based, and multi-disciplinary approach including therapeutic patient education should be implemented to achieve the best possible outcomes.