The eczema community are interested in answering research questions about
1) the best way to control eczema between flares
2) if changing how people respond to stress affects eczema,
3) which order to apply their creams (moisturisers and flare control creams) and how long a gap to leave between them
4) how reducing sugar impacts eczema.
There were two ways we asked the community to vote and help us decide what to test next in our Rapid Eczema Trials:
1) taking part in a survey
2) taking part in an online workshop
Who took part?
- 135 people with a range of ages and ethnic backgrounds, although most participants were female (85%).
- 104 had eczema themselves. 33 take care of someone with eczema. 19 were healthcare professionals. 12 were researchers.
- Eczema severity experienced ranged from clear to very severe.
What were the top ten questions?
There were 32 research questions that had been submitted previously, and people were asked to choose their top three from this list.
Here is a run-down of the 10 questions with the most votes…
39% of people voted for ‘Does reducing stress help people with eczema?’ (e.g., mindfulness, breathing techniques)
28% of people voted for ‘What is the best way of maintaining control between eczema flares?’ (e.g., regular use of moisturisers, topical corticosteroids used at weekends)
24% of people voted for ‘How can you keep skin bacteria in good health?’ (e.g., probiotics, washing practices)
20% of people voted for ‘Does reducing scratching help people with eczema?’ (e.g., through habit reversal)
20% of people voted for ‘Are vitamin supplements helpful for eczema?’
19% of people voted for ‘Does therapy/counselling help people with eczema?’
19% of people voted for ‘What is the best way to stop sweat worsening eczema?’ (e.g., indoor/outdoor exercising, keeping cool, washing off sweat quickly)
19% of people voted for ‘How long should flare control cream be applied for when you have a flare?’
19% of people voted for ‘Which should be applied first when treating eczema? Moisturisers (emollients) or flare control creams (e.g., topical corticosteroids)?’
17% of people voted for ‘Is reducing sugar helpful for eczema?’
People also added their own questions about eczema and shared what had worked well for them. We used this information to see if there were any additional research questions we could look to test as part of Rapid Eczema Trials.
We had two workshops. We had them on different days, and at different times, to try and make sure different people could attend.
We started the workshops by sharing the results of the survey. People then went into small groups to discuss their top three questions. The small groups agreed a ‘small group’ top three. Then, we fed these back, and had a discussion as a whole group. Everyone had the chance to vote on their final top 3 questions. The workshop attendees helped to refine the wording of some questions. This helped make sure the questions expressed what is important to people living with eczema. This is the wording we have reported below.
Ten people took part in the vote on 4th July 2023.
Twelve people took part in the vote on 6th July 2023.
We combined the results from both workshops to find the most popular topics to be answered by future research. The top questions the eczema community want answered by Rapid Eczema Trials:
In 1st place:
- ‘What is the best way of maintaining control between eczema flares?’ received 16 votes.
In 2nd place:
- ‘Does changing how people respond to stress help people with eczema?’ received 12 votes.
In joint 3rd place:
- ‘Which should be applied first when treating eczema, moisturisers (emollients) or flare control creams (e.g., topical corticosteroids) and how long a gap should be left between applying them?’ and ‘Is reducing sugar helpful for eczema?’ both received nine votes.
We will soon start our next co-production group to design the next Rapid Eczema Trial. Here, people living with eczema work alongside healthcare professionals and researchers. They get a voice in how eczema research is done.
The survey and workshop results will help the group decide the next question. The group will also look at current evidence available and how well we will be able to conduct the trial.
Do you want to be a part of a group to help prioritise and design our next research study?
Drop us an email at email@example.com to find out more or get involved.