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Barbarot, Sebastien; Rogers, Natasha K.; Abuabara, Katrina; Aubert, Helene; Chalmers, Joanne; Flohr, Carsten; Hanifin, Jon; Naldi, Luigi; Margolis, David J.; Paul, Carle; Ridd, Matthew J.; Schuttelaar, Marie-Louise Anna; Simpson, Eric; Tauber, Marie; Volke, Annika; Weidinger, Stephan; Wilkes, Sally R.; Wollenberg, Andreas and Thomas, Kim S. (2016): Strategies used for measuring long-term control in atopic dermatitis trials: A systematic review. In: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Vol. 75, No. 5: pp. 1038-1044

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Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. There are no standardized methods for capturing long-term control of AD. Objective: We sought to identify how long-term control has been captured in published randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Results will initiate consensus discussions on how best to measure long-term control in the core outcome set for AD. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of RCTs of AD treatments published between 2000 and 2013, with a follow-up period of 3 months or longer, at least 1 outcome measure recorded at 3 or more time points, full article available, and published in English. Results: In all, 101 of 353 RCTs were eligible. Methods to capture long-term control included: repeated measurement of AD outcomes (92 RCTs;91%), use of AD medication (29 RCTs;28.7%), and AD flares/remissions (26 RCTs;25.7%). Repeated measurements of AD outcomes were typically collected 3 to 5 times during a trial, but analysis methods often failed to make best use of the data. Time to first flare was most commonly used for trials includingflaredata (21/52). Medicationuse was recorded based on quantity, potency, and frequency of application. Limitations: We included RCT data only. Conclusion: This review illustrates the difficulties in measuring long-term control, and points to the need for improved harmonization of outcomes.

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