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Investigative Report

Topical Corticosteroid Phobia Among Healthcare Professionals Using the TOPICOP Score

Lies Lambrechts, Liesbeth Gilissen, Marie-Anne Morren
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3220

Preview of fully accepted paper, still not published in any volume

Abstract

Corticophobia is a major problem in adherence to therapy. This study examined corticophobia among healthcare professionals using the Topical Corticosteroid Phobia (TOPICOP) questionnaire. The TOPICOP questionnaire was adapted for use with professionals (TOPICOP-P). Four groups of professionals: pharmacists, paediatricians, general practitioners and dermatologists were observed. The mean global TOPICOP score was 41.9 ± 14.9%. Pharmacists had the highest scores for corticophobia: a global score of 48.5 ± 13.9%, followed by general practitioners, 46.0 ± 13.5%, paediatricians 39.7 ± 14.5%, and dermatologists 32.3 ± 12.1%. Overall, there was a statistically significant difference in the mean score between the 4 groups (p < 0.05). In conclusion, there is prominent corticophobia among healthcare professionals, especially among pharmacists and general practitioners, which is probably based on insufficient knowledge of topical corticosteroids. In order to improve patient compliance, re-education of healthcare providers is suggested.

Significance

Fear of using corticosteroids (corticophobia) is a universal problem and one of the main reasons for poor treatment compliance. This study examined corticophobia among healthcare professionals (pharmacists, paediatricians, general practitioners and dermatologists) using the Topical Corticosteroid Phobia (TOPICOP) questionnaire. Pharmacists had the highest scores for corticophobia (48.5 ± 13.9%), followed by general practitioners (46.0 ± 13.5%), paediatricians (39.7 ± 14.5%) and dermatologists (32.3 ± 12.1%). In conclusion, there is prominent corticophobia among healthcare professionals, especially among pharmacists and general practitioners, probably based on insufficient knowledge of topical corticosteroids. In order to improve patient compliance, re-education of healthcare providers is suggested.

Supplementary content

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