Use of the Self-Administered Eczema Area and Severity Index by parent caregivers: results of a validation study


Rajesh Balkrishnan.


Summary Background  The Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) is used by dermatological investigators world-wide to assess eczema disease severity. EASI measures are, however, time-consuming and require trained personnel, thereby limiting its application to large-scale epidemiological studies. Additionally, the use of self-assessed severity indices in dermatology is restricted to adult subjects and conditions, thereby not addressing the needs of paediatric patients.

Objectives  To develop and validate an instrument for a caregiver's self-assessment of the severity of his/her child's atopic dermatitis (AD), the Self-Administered EASI (SA-EASI).

Methods  Trained investigators performed a modified EASI assessment on the same day as an SA-EASI was obtained from 47 caregivers of children with AD.

Results  The SA-EASI was found to be a valid measure of the severity of AD. Total, acute and chronic SA-EASI scores predicted total, acute and chronic modified EASI scores ( P  < 0·0001). SA-EASI body surface area (BSA) scores predicted EASI BSA scores ( P  < 0·0001). SA-EASI pruritus scores correlated with the acute, chronic and total EASI scores ( P =  0·0001).

Conclusions  The SA-EASI may provide caregivers the means to report the severity of their child's skin disease objectively. The high correlation with the EASI score observed in this sample implies that statistical inferences with the SA-EASI will be valid for large populations. In future studies, this will permit analysis of the relationship of skin disease severity to such measures as quality of life, disability, patient satisfaction and the costs of various therapies. Moreover, this SA-EASI instrument may allow older children, over 12 years old, to assess the severity of their AD.