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Potential Barriers to Adherence in Pediatric Dermatology


Address correspondence to Rachel M. Ellis, B.S., Department of Dermatology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 721 Fairfax Avenue, Suite 200, Norfolk, VA 23507, or e-mail:;


Abstract:  This study sought to identify barriers to treatment in children with chronic inflammatory skin disease, particularly those with atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne vulgaris. Caregivers of 101 patients seen in the Children’s Specialty Group Division of Dermatology, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Norfolk, Virginia, completed an 11-item Likert scale questionnaire. This survey addressed complexity and time requirements for treatment, medication cost, vehicle formulation, perceived safety, and caregiver understanding of chronicity of skin disorders. Parents and caregivers indicated that adequate instructions for using the medications were provided but that they felt less comfortable with treating their child’s skin disease during a severe flare. The complexity of treatment programs, time required to apply medications, and vehicle type were not considered prohibitive factors. Caregivers were concerned about the cost and safety of prescribed medications and had a less understanding of the chronicity of inflammatory skin disorders.