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Comparison of patient (POEM), observer (EASI, SASSAD, TIS) and corneometry measures of emollient effectiveness in children with eczema: findings from the COMET feasibility trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-370
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number2
Early online date24 Feb 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Feb 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Feb 2018
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2018


BACKGROUND: Eczema affects ~20% of children but multiple different outcome measures have hampered research into the effectiveness of different treatments.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the change in scores and correlations within and between five measures of eczema severity: Patient Orientated Eczema Measure (POEM), Eczema Area Severity Index (EASI), Six Area Six Sign Atopic Dermatitis (SASSAD), Three Item Severity (TIS), and skin hydration (corneometry).

METHODS: Data from a feasibility trial that randomised young children with eczema to one of four emollients were used. Participants were followed for three months (84 days). Descriptive statistics (by emollient over time) and Spearman's correlation coefficients comparing scores at each time-point and absolute change (between adjacent time-points) for each outcome measure were calculated.

RESULTS: 197 children, mean age (SD) of 21.7 (12.8) months, were randomised. POEM and TIS appeared to capture a range of eczema severity at baseline but only POEM had close approximation to normal distribution. Mean POEM, EASI, SASSAD and TIS scores improved month-by-month, with POEM showing the greatest sensitivity (effect size 0.42). Correlations within POEM, EASI, SASSAD and TIS were moderate-to-good, decreasing over time. Correlations between measures were strongest for EASI, SASSAD and TIS. By contrast, corneometry scores were more variable, correlated less well over time, and were poorly correlated with the other measures.

CONCLUSIONS: Except for corneometry, all measures appear to change in relation to emollient use over time and correlate well with themselves. POEM demonstrated the greatest range of scores at baseline and change in eczema severity over the first 28 days. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    Structured keywords

  • BRTC
  • Centre for Surgical Research

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 340 KB, PDF document


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