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Keywords:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • SCORAD;
  • ETAC

The ETAC (Early Treatment of the Atopic Child) study, a multi-national double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial, has been in progress since 1994. Fifty-six centers in Europe and Canada participate in this study. A total of 817 children with atopic dermatitis [AD] were recruited. The severity of AD was scored using the SCORAD (objective criteria). Ninety-eight investigators (mostly pediatricians) were trained by three members of the European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis [ETFAD] to standardize their objective SCORAD scoring (system developed by the ETFAD). The experts selected photographs and prepared a training atlas. The percentages of photographs assessed by the 98 non-expert investigators below, within and above the range of evaluations by the three experts were calculated. Taking over- and underscoring together, edema/papulation was the easie. st intensity item to score (82% within the range by the experts). The global symptom score, as well as lichenification. edema/papulation. oozing and excoriation registered by physicians with dermatological experience were not statistically significantly different from those by others. Erythema was statistically significantly better scored by those with dermatological experience. The results of the Euclidean Distance method showed that the item excoriations gave the largest distance. Erythema and excoriations were scored better by dermatologically experienced physicians (t-test, p=0.042 and p=0.063 respectively), but lichenification was better scored by non-dermatologically experienced physicians (p=0.013). The extent of surface area involved in the disease was calculated on 3 sets of photographs. Most evaluations by the 98 nonexpert investigators were within the range of the experts. Dermatologically experienced physicians scored significantly better than the others (Mest, p=0.006). This training program is useful for standardizing the scoring in AD and indicates that SCORAD can be used by investigators from different disciplines.