Taking charge of eczema self-management: A qualitative interview study with young people with eczema
Greenwell K., Ghio D., Muller I., Roberts A., McNiven A., Lawton S., Santer M.
© 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). All rights reserved. Objectives To explore young people's experiences of eczema self-management and interacting with health professionals. Design Secondary qualitative data analysis of data sets from two semistructured interview studies. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Setting Participants were recruited from the UK primary care, dermatology departments and a community-based sample (eg, patient representative groups, social media). Participants Data included 28 interviews with young people with eczema aged 13-25 years (mean age=19.5 years; 20 female). Results Although topical treatments were generally perceived as effective, young people expressed doubts about their long-term effectiveness, and concerns around the safety and an over-reliance on topical corticosteroids. Participants welcomed the opportunity to take an active role in their eczema management, but new roles and responsibilities also came with initial apprehension and challenges, including communicating their treatment concerns and preferences with health professionals, feeling unprepared for transition to an adult clinic and obtaining treatments. Decisions regarding whether to engage in behaviours that would exacerbate their eczema (eg, irritants/triggers, scratching) were influenced by young people's beliefs regarding negative consequences of these behaviours, and perceived control over the behaviour and its negative consequences. Conclusions Behavioural change interventions must address the treatment concerns of young people and equip them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take an active role in their own eczema management.