Optimizing pharmaceutical care for pediatric patients with dermatitis: perspectives of parents and pharmacy staff

Ellen S. Koster*, Daphne Philbert, Kay R. Wagelaar, Sarah Galle, Marcel L. Bouvy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Atopic dermatitis affects 10–20% of the children worldwide. Unfortunately not all patients who receive treatment have optimal treatment outcomes. Objective To assess the view of parents and pharmacy staff in order to optimize pharmaceutical care for young atopic dermatitis patients. Setting Community pharmacies in the Netherlands. Method We first held an expert panel meeting to determine experts’ views on treatment of atopic dermatitis and their suggestions for areas of improvement. This input was used to develop the interview guide. We conducted telephone interviews with parents of children (aged 0–12 years) with atopic dermatitis and face-to-face interviews with pharmacy staff members. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were coded using qualitative data analysis software. Codes were used to identify themes. Main outcome measure Perspectives of parents of young atopic dermatitis patients and pharmacy staff about treatment. Results We interviewed 29 parents and 18 pharmacy staff members. Many parents mentioned fear of steroid adverse effects, with intentional nonadherence as a consequence, and difficulties with the application of topical treatment. Pharmacy employees also mentioned to encounter these issues. Some employees themselves expressed concerns towards use of steroids. Most parents were satisfied with the information they received; however, they need more practical lifestyle advices, e.g. about bathing or clothing. Both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians mentioned that technicians often lack knowledge to support patients optimally in correct medication use. Conclusion Parents’ perceptions about topical corticosteroids might negatively influence treatment outcomes. Pharmacy staff has an important role to inform parents of children with eczema on the appropriate use of topical corticosteroids and emollients. Counseling should not be influenced by their own prejudices about topical corticosteroids. Close collaboration between primary care providers should ensure that parents receive uniform messages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-718
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Childhood
  • Corticosteroid phobia
  • Emollients
  • Parents
  • Pharmaceutical care
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Topical corticosteroids


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