Impact of Patient and Physician Disconnect on Satisfaction with Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis in Japan

Dermatology and Therapy


Introduction: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory disease causing severe skin itching. Data on patient-physician disconnect on treatment satisfaction in patients with AD in Japan are limited. We investigated patient-physician disconnect on treatment satisfaction in AD and if it influences treatment patterns, clinical characteristics, and patient-reported outcomes (PROs).

Methods: Data were drawn from the Adelphi AD Disease Specific Programme (DSP), a real-world, point-in-time survey of physicians and patients with AD conducted in Japan from April to July 2019. Patients and physicians were grouped according to level of treatment satisfaction (“extremely satisfied” to “extremely dissatisfied”); with any level of dissatisfaction recorded as “less than satisfied.” Data were collected on treatment patterns, clinical characteristics, and PROs including the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), EQ-5D-3L questionnaire, and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire.

Results: Data were provided by 184 patients with AD and 56 physicians; 72.8% of patient-physician pairs reported a fair (kappa coefficient: 0.40) level of agreement on treatment satisfaction, 51.6% of patient-physician pairs were both satisfied, and 21.2% were both less than satisfied. Satisfied physicians prescribed a mean 1.2 fewer treatments than dissatisfied physicians (p < 0.05). Cases where both physician and patient were less than satisfied or where patients were less satisfied than their physicians reported the worst PROs, DLQI (both less than satisfied: mean 10.7 versus patient less satisfied than physician: 10.6 versus overall: 7.9), POEM (19.5 versus 17.3 versus 17.0), EQ-5D-3L (0.82 versus 0.81 versus 0.87) (all, p < 0.05). Work impairment was highest when both patient and physician were less than satisfied (p < 0.05). Physicians cited treatment efficacy and patients cited efficacy and usability as main reasons for dissatisfaction.

Conclusion: Overall, 12.0% of patients were less satisfied with their AD treatment than the physician, demonstrating some of the worst PROs, suggesting unmet need that could be improved by better patient-physician communication.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Disconnect; Japan; Patient; Physician; Satisfaction; Therapeutics.

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