Atopic dermatitis: Clinical outcomes assessment recommendations

  • For the general management of patients with atopic dermatitis, available patient quality of life measurement scales are not recommended for routine clinical practice. 

Level of Evidence: II Strength of Recommendation: C

  • It is recommended that clinicians ask general questions about itch, sleep, impact on daily activity, and persistence of disease, and currently available scales be used mainly when practical.

Level of Evidence: III Strength of Recommendation: C


Read more about these recommendations

Twenty-two different AD-specific, dermatology-specific, and generic scales were identified that measure quality of life and other psychological outcomes in patients with atopic dermatitis.43,58-66 These scales have been used to assess the impact of the disease and the effects of interventions, as well as to make comparisons with the impact of other disorders.  Careful consideration of the scale properties should occur prior to use, including validity (content, construct, concurrent, discriminative), reliability (test-retest and internal consistency), responsiveness to change, and minimal clinically important difference.58,60,67,68  In clinical trials, the most commonly used scale is the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), followed by the Dermatitis Family Impact (DFI), the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and the Infant's Dermatology Life Quality Index.43  But these scales were not generally designed for use in routine clinical practice.69  

Navigate section 1 of the AD guideline: Diagnosis and assessment

Citation note 

When referencing this guideline in a publication, please use the following citation: Eichenfield LF, Tom WL, Chamlin SL, Feldman SR, Hanifin JM, Simpson EL, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: section 1. Diagnosis and assessment of atopic dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Feb;70(2):338-51. 



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