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Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Dermatology: A Systematic Review

Rachael L. Pattinson, Nirohshah Trialonis-Suthakharan, Sunnia Gupta, Alasdair L. Henry, Jacqueline F. Lavallée, Marina Otten, Timothy Pickles, Nick Courtier, Jennifer Austin, Christine Janus, Matthias Augustin, Chris Bundy
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3884

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This article has been accepted for publication in Acta Dermato-Venereologica and is currently being edited and typeset. Readers should note that article shown below have been fully refereed, but have not been through the copy-editing and proof correction process. Only Abstract is possible to read. When this process is finalized the complete paper will be able to find.


By relying on data from existing patient-reported outcome measures of quality of life, the true impact of skin conditions on patients’ lives may be underestimated. This study systematically reviewed all dermatology-specific (used across skin conditions) patient-reported outcome measures and makes evidence-based recommendations for their use. The study protocol is registered on PROSPERO (CRD42018108829). PubMed, PsycInfo and CINAHL were searched from inception to 25 June 2018. The Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) criteria were used to assess the measurement properties and methodological quality of studies. A total of 12,925 abstracts were identified. Zero patient-reported outcome measures were assigned to category A (ready for use without further validation), 31 to category B (recommended for use, but only with further validation) and 5 to category C (not recommended for use). There is no gold-standard dermatology-specific patient-reported outcome measure that can be recommended or used without caution. A new measure that can comprehensively capture the impact of dermatological conditions on the patient’s life is needed.


This is the first study to systematically evaluate all published dermatology-specific (for use across skin conditions), patient-reported outcome measures against the gold-standard Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) criteria and make evidence-based recommendations for their use. The study found that no dermatology-specific patient-reported outcome measure can be unequivocally recommended for use. These results question the validity of the data collected using these patient-reported outcome measures, which has implications for clinical decision-making and research.

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