Cost-intensive, time-consuming, problematical? How physicians in private practice experience the care of urticaria patients


Prof. Dr. med. Marcus Maurer Allergie-Centrum-Charité Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie Charité– Universitätsmedizin Berlin Charitéplatz 1 D-10117 Berlin Tel.: +49-30-450-518042 Fax: +49-30-450-518972 E-mail:


Background: Urticaria is a common and frequently debilitating disease. Nevertheless, there are only few studies examining the situation of urticaria patient care.

Patients and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we surveyed dermatologists, pediatricians and general practitioners in the practice setting regarding the epidemiology, situation of care as well as the perception of their patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria.

Results: 776 data sets were available. The results show a high frequency of consultations due to chronic spontaneous urticaria. Most of the patients were reported to suffer moderately to severely and to have had history of disease of well over one year. The pediatricians indicated fewer diseases and shorter courses. The majority of participants stated that the time and cost spent on care, as well as the frequency of follow-up visits, are above average. In addition, chronic spontaneous urticaria patients were reported to be a group with a strong emotional burden and high expectations as well as a group that is difficult to satisfy and hard to guide. Only a small minority of physicians rated patient satisfaction with current treatment options and therapy success as high.

Conclusions: Chronic spontaneous urticaria plays an important role in daily practice. Problems are reported on various areas of care. Resolving these problems presents a major challenge and is crucial for improving the quality of patient care.