Updated Cochrane Review into Childhood Eczema and Psychological Interventions

The Cochrane Skin Group have updated their review into childhood eczema and the role of psychological interventions alongside topical treatments.Atopic eczema is an itchy, inflammatory skin condition, which affects the quality of life of children with eczema and their parents or carers. Psychological approaches have been used to complement topical medicines for example, by using simple psychological techniques to manage itching and scratching or sleep disturbance. Educational interventions have also been provided to individuals and groups by nurses or teams of specialists in hospital or community settings.The Cochrane Group included 10 studies in its review: 5 were in the original review, and 5 were newly incorporated in the update. The authors noted that:’Although it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions from this review, several studies using educational interventions demonstrated improvements in eczema severity and quality of life for both children and families. In particular, two studies showed promise. One large study (n = 992) using a multi-disciplinary group education intervention in a hospital setting showed modest improvements in disease severity and quality of life. The single study using psychological approaches indicated that relaxation methods reduced the severity of eczema when compared to discussion only.’A full summary of the Cochrane Group’s findings can be found here.The APPGS published a report at the end of last year detailing the psychological and social impact of skin disease. It made a number of recommendations and as a Group we are committed to following these up over the coming months with key stakeholders. The secretariat would like to encourage all non-parliamentary members to make enquiries with their local Clinical Commissioning Group to ask how they intend to ensure provision of psychological therapies for patients with skin disease. It is crucial that this aspect of care is integrated into local service agreements and that commissioners are made aware of the benefits that such services can bring.