Knowledge, instruction and behavioural change: building a framework for effective eczema education in clinical practice




A discussion on the reasons educational interventions about eczema, by nurses, are successful, with the subsequent development of a theoretical framework to guide nurses to become effective patient educators.


Effective child and parent education is the key to successful self-management of eczema. When diagnosed, children and parents should learn to understand the condition through clear explanations, seeing treatment demonstrations and have ongoing support to learn practical skills to control eczema. Dermatology nurses provide these services, but no one has proposed a framework of the concepts underpinning their successful eczema educational interventions.


A discussion paper.

Data Sources

A literature search of online databases was undertaken utilizing terms ‘eczema OR atopic dermatitis’, ‘education’, ‘parent’, ‘nurs*’, ‘framework’, ‘knowledge’, motivation’, in Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science, Medline and Pubmed. Limits were English language and 2003–2013.

Implications for Nursing

The framework can inform discussion on child and parent education, provide a scaffold for future research and guide non-specialist nurses, internationally, in providing consistent patient education about eczema.


Founded on an understanding of knowledge, the framework utilizes essential elements of cognitive psychology and social cognitive theory leading to successful self-management of eczema. This framework may prove useful as a basis for future research in child and parent education, globally, in the healthcare community. A framework has been created to help nurses understand the essential elements of the learning processes at the foundation of effective child and parent education. The framework serves to explain the improved outcomes reported in previous nurse-led eczema educational interventions.