Background: Many children suffer with skin diseases but to date most dermatological research has been done ‘on’ rather than ‘with’ children; in this study we actively sought the experiences of children and young people. Atopic eczema (AE) is a chronic, itchy, inflammatory skin condition that affects around 20% of children and can impact on the health and wellbeing of children and their families. The role of specialist clothing in the management of AE is poorly understood. Objectives: The aim of this study, which was nested in a randomized controlled trial, was to qualitatively examine child participants’ experiences of using silk garments for the treatment of AE. Methods: Eighteen children aged 5–15 years, who took part in the CLOTHing for the relief of Eczema Symptoms (CLOTHES) trial, participated in age-appropriate individual interviews or focus groups. Results: Thematic analysis generated four themes directly related to the silk garments: (i) expectations of the garments; (ii) wearing the garments; (iii) asking if the garments helped; and (iv) thoughts about the garments. The conclusions from this nested qualitative study are that there was some limited improvement in eczema for some children but that the hoped-for ‘miracle cure’ did not transpire. A mixed picture of knowledge, beliefs and experiences of using the silk garments emerged. Conclusions: Engaging children in the evaluation of the garments provided first-hand nuanced insights that enhanced understanding of the CLOTHES study as a whole. This nested study demonstrates that children can and indeed want to be engaged in dermatological research in meaningful ways that add to our understanding of treatment options.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||British Journal of Dermatology|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Aug 2017|