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Abstract

Therapeutic patient education (TPE) has proven effective in increasing treatment adherence and improving quality of life (QoL) for patients with numerous chronic diseases, especially atopic dermatitis (AD). This study was undertaken to identify worldwide TPE experiences in AD treatment. Experts from 23 hospitals, located in 11 countries, responded to a questionnaire on 10 major items. Patients in TPE programs were mainly children and adolescents with moderate to severe AD or markedly affected QoL. Individual and collective approaches were used. Depending on the center, the number of sessions varied from one to six (corresponding to 2 to 12 hours of education), and 20 to 200 patients were followed each year. Each center's education team comprised multidisciplinary professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses, psychologists). Evaluations were based on clinical assessment, QoL, a satisfaction index, or some combination of the three. When funding was obtained, it came from regional health authorities (France), insurance companies (Germany), donations (United States), or pharmaceutical firms (Japan, Italy). The role of patient associations was always highlighted, but their involvement in the TPE process varied from one country to another. Despite the nonexhaustive approach, our findings demonstrate the increasing interest in TPE for managing individuals with AD. In spite of the cultural and financial differences between countries, there is a consensus among experts to integrate education into the treatment of eczema.