Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

Eczema Priority Setting Partnership



Eczema is a common condition yet there are numerous uncertainties in its treatment. More research is needed on how to treat the condition effectively, but it is unusual for patients and clinicians to set the research agenda.

In order to involve both those who have eczema, and those who treat eczema, a priority setting partnership was formed to tackle this issue. The Partnership was overseen by the James Lind Alliance and included patients, clinicians and researchers. Its central task was to identify uncertainties about treatments for eczema and to prioritise the top selected issues for future research.


Key Facts

1. What did the priority setting exercise involve?

The exercise took place in 2011 in three phases:

  1. A survey collected questions from patients and health care professionals;
  2. A ranking exercise in which participants voted for their favourite topics from a list of most frequently asked treatment uncertainties;
  3. A workshop at which the most popular treatment uncertainties were developed into more defined and workable research questions.
  4. Complete listing of all treatment uncertainties that were submitted by more than one person during the consultation phase PDF format. Uncertainties are ranked by number of votes received in the second round of voting.
2. How many people took part?
Over 500 individuals took part in one or more of this three-phase exercise.
3. What were the results?

There was some distinction between what patients considered most important and what health professionals considered most important, but some priorities were shared.

This resulted in a top 14 list of uncertainties grouped into 3 categories--shared priorities, top priorities voted by patients/carers, and top priorities of healthcare professionals.

4. What next?

The findings will be shared with funding and research agenda setting organisations to implement research.

Researchers will be encouraged to focus on these unanswered questions, set by patients and health professionals alike, in the years to come.

Studies are currently been developed by researchers from the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology at The University of Nottingham in line with the results of the Eczema Priority Setting Partnership.

5. Who led this project?

This project was managed by a Steering Group made up of clinicians, patients and researchers. It was chaired by an independent facilitator from the James Lind Alliance.

  • Sally Crowe (JLA) Independent Chair
  • Kim Thomas (CEBD)
  • Margaret McPhee (CEBD)
  • Amanda Roberts (patient)
  • Amina Ahmed (patient)
  • Anjna Rani (patient)
  • Marjorie Howard (patient)
  • Margaret Cox (representing National Eczema Society)
  • Jonathan Batchelor (dermatologist)
  • Jane Ravenscoft (dermatologist)
  • Matthew Ridd (GP)
  • Sandra Lawton (dermatology nurse)




Eczema PSP findings have been presented orally and through posters at various conferences including the British Dermatology Nursing Group Annual Conference, the Royal College of General Practitioner’s Annual Conference, the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the British Association of Dermatologist’s annual conference and the patient involvement in research conference INVOLVE.




email: cebd@nottingham.ac.uk
This website presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Pro-gramme Grants for Applied Research funding scheme (RP-PG-0407-10177). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.


Eczema PSP partners  

Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The University of Nottingham
Applied Health Research Building
University Park, Nottingham

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 68631
email: cebd@nottingham.ac.uk