Conflicts of interest None declared.
Chronic urticaria: an internet survey of health behaviours, symptom patterns and treatment needs in European adult patients
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 British Association of Dermatologists
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 160, Issue 3, pages 633–641, March 2009
How to Cite
Maurer, M., Ortonne, J.-P. and Zuberbier, T. (2009), Chronic urticaria: an internet survey of health behaviours, symptom patterns and treatment needs in European adult patients. British Journal of Dermatology, 160: 633–641. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08920.x
- Issue published online: 17 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2008
- Accepted for publication 27 August 2008
- medication usage;
- patient perspectives;
- preventive treatment;
- sleep disturbances;
- symptom patterns
Summary Background Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common skin disorder characterized by spontaneous outbreaks of itchy weals and/or angio-oedema over a period of 6 weeks or longer. Very little is known about the health behaviour, symptom patterns or unmet treatment needs of patients with CU.
Objectives To determine how patients with CU manage their condition, when and where their symptom outbreaks occur and what their greatest unmet treatment needs are.
Methods An internet survey was conducted with 321 randomly selected, representative adults in Germany and France diagnosed with CU. The survey covered patient health behaviour, when and where symptoms occur and which effects of CU remain unaddressed.
Results The survey found that 78% of the respondents were taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, yet only 33% of those taking medication did so preventively always or often. For 58% of respondents, CU outbreaks lasted 6–10 weeks, while 12% of patients had CU continuously for 52 weeks year−1. The body parts most frequently reported as most affected by CU were the arms (55% of women and 57% of men; not significant) and the legs (42% of women and 32% of men; P = 0·043). More respondents were bothered by symptoms in the evening (34%) than during the night (23%), morning (23%) or afternoon (20%), and the mode of the frequency for sleep being affected was three nights per week. Itching and physical discomfort remained inadequately addressed for 68% of the respondents, and sleep disturbances from CU remained inadequately addressed for 48% of respondents.
Conclusions A better understanding of health behaviour, symptom pattern and unmet needs of patients with CU will enable physicians and patients to manage this disabling condition more effectively.