Developing a written action plan for children with eczema: a qualitative study

Kingsley Powell, Emma Le Roux, Jonathan P. Banks, Matthew J. Ridd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
270 Downloads (Pure)


© British Journal of General Practice. Background: Eczema is common in children but adherence to treatments is poor. Written action plans (WAPs) have been shown to help in asthma but the potential value, format, and content of an eczema WAP is unknown. Aim: To explore the potential role of an eczema WAP, and to design an eczema-specific WAP. Design and setting: A qualitative study of parents of children with eczema, primary and secondary care health professionals, and other stakeholders. Method: A total of 41 semi-structured one-to-one interviews and two focus groups were audiorecorded, transcribed, and analysed thematically. Results: Reported challenges of managing eczema included: parental confusion about treatment application; lack of verbal and written advice from GPs; differing beliefs about the cause and management of eczema; re-prescribing of failed treatments; and parents feeling unsupported by their GP. An eczema WAP was viewed as an educational tool that could help address these problems. Participants expressed a preference for a WAP that gives clear, individualised guidance on treatment use, presented in a step-up/step-down approach. Participants also wanted more general information about eczema, its potential triggers, and how to manage problem symptoms. Conclusion: An eczema WAP may help overcome some of the difficulties of managing eczema, and support families and clinicians in the management of the condition. Further evaluation is needed to determine if the eczema WAP the authors have developed is both acceptable and improves the outcomes for affected children and their families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e81-e89
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number667
Early online date4 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • atopic eczema/dermatitis
  • child
  • eczema
  • primary care
  • qualitative research
  • self-management
  • written action plans

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