Conflicts of interests The Department of Primary Care and Social Medicine receives support from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Funding Scheme. C.L. provides a private cosmetic dermatology service. A.L. conducts regular clinical trials on inflammatory skin conditions which are sponsored by industry.
Outcome measures in acne vulgaris: systematic review
Article first published online: 5 DEC 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 British Association of Dermatologists
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 160, Issue 1, pages 132–136, January 2009
How to Cite
Barratt, H., Hamilton, F., Car, J., Lyons, C., Layton, A. and Majeed, A. (2009), Outcome measures in acne vulgaris: systematic review. British Journal of Dermatology, 160: 132–136. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08819.x
- Issue published online: 15 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 5 DEC 2008
- Accepted for publication 7 June 2008
- acne vulgaris;
- outcome assessment;
- outcome measures
Summary Background Clinical trials require valid and reliable outcome measures to facilitate the interpretation and communication of results, and the secondary use of data for systematic reviews. There are numerous tools available to assess the severity of acne vulgaris in clinical trials, and extensive debate about the merits of these.
Objectives To review the literature about investigator-assessed outcome measures used in clinical trials for acne vulgaris; and to evaluate the measurement properties of these tools.
Methods A systematic literature review was conducted of articles outlining and evaluating investigator-assessed outcome measures for acne.
Results Thirty-one papers met the criteria for inclusion in the literature review, including nine papers proposing a novel means of assessing acne, and five evaluating existing outcome measures. Variable attempts had been made to evaluate these tools.
Conclusions The array of evaluation tools used in acne trials prohibits good secondary analysis of trial data, and complicates the interpretation of study results, potentially compromising clinical care. Existing outcome measures need to be assessed further and agreement reached about which should be used more widely. Other innovative methods of assessing acne should also be explored.