Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

POEM — Patient Oriented Eczema Measure

Overview

The Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) is a tool used for monitoring atopic eczema severity. It focuses on the illness as experienced by the patient. 

Suitable for use in the outpatient clinic, audit, epidemiological studies and clinical trials, POEM has been recommended for use by clinical guidelines including those issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 

POEM is recommended by the  HOME (Harmonising Outcome Measures for Eczema) initiative as the core outcome instrument for measuring patient-reported symptoms in eczema trials.

 

About using POEM

  • Commercial users of POEM must pay a per patient fee 
  • POEM remains free to use for non-commercial applications (eg government or charity funded research studies, personal use).
  • You do not need a license to use POEM or to create a translation but terms and conditions for commercial use apply.
  • POEM is copyright of the University of Nottingham
  • Further information about scoring POEM is available below
 
 
Details of the original publication and studies relating to the validation of the scale and the Minimal Clinically Important Difference (MCID) are listed in the reference section.
 

Permissions to use POEM

 

POEM Download - Paper Format (PDF)

For self-completion: This version is suitable for patients who are able to read and understand the questions. This will include both adults and older children. 

POEM for adults
(POEM for adults also available as a Word file)

For proxy-completion: This version is for parents/guardians to fill out on their child's behalf. There are no specific age cut-offs for using this version.

POEM for children
(POEM for children also available as a Word file)

For self/proxy-completion: This version is suitable for both completion by patients and for completion by parents/guardians on their child's behalf.

POEM for all ages
(POEM for all ages also available as a Word file)

 

POEM Download - Electronic Format (Android/IOS)

POEM is now available to download on mobile devices. Using the app, My Eczema Tracker,  POEM can be completed electronically and the score automatically calculated. Additionally, POEM scores are stored, so  eczema severity can be tracked over weeks and months.

appstore play-badge

Click on the links above to download the app, or search My Eczema Tracker in your app store. 

Need to report an issue? If you've encounted a bug or error with the app, please get in touch.

Accessibility statement

POEMapp
 

POEM Download - Translations

We have a selection of free translations available in PDF format, which are listed below. Please see the FAQ section for further information about translations.

If you're thinking of creating a translation of POEM, please see our guidance document. If you'd like us to sign-off your translation, please send us a completed copy of our checklist document.

Translations
POEM Translations
LanguageFor use inCertificationTranslators
Arabic for Adults Kuwait, Qatar, Saudia Arabia and United Arab Emirates Arabic Certificate Courtesy of Adelphi Real World
Bulgarian for Adults Bulgaria Bulgarian Certificate Courtesy of ICON/MAPI
Czech (Czech Republic)for Adults Czech Republic Czech Certificate Courtesy of Celgene and TransPerfect
Chinese (Traditional) for Adults Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) Certificate Courtesy of Arjil Pharmaceuticals
Danish (Denmark) for Adults Denmark ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr Uffe Nygaard
Danish (Denmark) for Children Denmark ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr Uffe Nygaard
Dutch (Belgium) for Adults Belgium Dutch (Belgium) Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
Dutch (Netherlands) for Adults Netherlands Dutch (Netherlands) Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
Estonian (Russia) for Adults Russia Estonian (Russia) Certificate Courtesy of ICON/MAPI and Pfizer
Estonian (Estonia) for Adults Estonia Estonian Certificate Courtesy of ICON/MAPI and Pfizer
English (Australian) for Adults Australia Australian English Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
English (Canadian) for Adults Canada Canadian English Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
English (Irish) for Adults Ireland Irish English Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
English (American) for Adults United States of America American English Certificate Courtesy of ICON/MAPI
Finnish for Adults Finland Finnish Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
French for Adults France French Certificate No acknowledgement requested.
French for Children France * - See note below  
French (Belgian) for Adults Belgium Belgian French Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
French (Canadian) for Adults Canada Canadian French Certificate 1 Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
French (Canadian) for Children Canada Canadian French Certificate 2 Translation courtesy of Pfizer and Corporate Translations, Inc
German for Adults Germany German Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
German for Children Germany * - See note below  
German (Austrian) for self completion Austria German (Austria) Certificate Courtesy of Medidata Solutions, translated by TransPerfect.
Greek for Adults Greece ¶ - See note below Courtesy of (1) Stamatios Gregoriou, Assistant professor of Dermatology-Venereology, National and Kapodistrian Universitty of Athens, Greece (2) ECONCARE LP
Greek for Adults and Children Greece ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr. Aikaterini Doxastaki and Dr. Dimitra Koumaki
Greek for Children Greece ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr. Aikaterini Doxastaki and Dr. Dimitra Koumaki
Hebrew  Israel ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr. Yael Leshem, Dr. Efrat Solomon-Cohen and Dr. Adam Dalal
Hungarian for Adults Hungary Hungarian Certificate Courtesy of ICON/MAPI
Italian for Adults Italy Italian Certificate Courtesy of Sanofi
Japanese for Adults Japan Japanese Certificate Courtesy of Adelphi Real World
Japanese for Children Japan  ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr Yukihiro Ohya, Dr. Shoji Mihara and Dr. Afsane Riazi and Dr Jonathan Batchelor
Nepali (Nepal) Nepal ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr. Sushil Paudel, Mr Sudarshan Paudel, Ms Indu Acharya, Dr Prakash Pokharel and Dr Prajwal Pudasaini
Malay (Bahasa melayu) Malaysia ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr How Kang Nien, 
Nor Ameliaa Binti Azlan Tan, Nur Farhana Fazureen Binti Zulkefli, Megalashini A/P K. Selvanathan, Puteri Nur Dayana Binti, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Norwegian for Adults and Children Norway ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Eva Maria Rehbinder (MD), Usha Hartgill (MD), Karianne Wiger Gammelsrud (MD PhD)  and Teresa Løvold Berents (MD PhD), Oslo University Hospital
Polish for Adults Poland Polish Certificate Courtesy of ICON/MAPI
Portuguese (Brazilian) for Adults Brazil Brazilian Portuguese Certificate 1
Brazilian Portueguese Certificate 2
Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
Russian for Adults Russia ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr. Daniel Munblit, Dr. Anastasia Kolotilina, Ms. Daria Koroleva and Emporium Linguae
Russian for Adults and Children Russia ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr. Daniel Munblit, Dr. Anastasia Kolotilina, Ms. Daria Koroleva and Emporium Linguae
Russian for Children Russia ¶ - See note below Courtesy of Dr. Daniel Munblit, Dr. Anastasia Kolotilina, Ms. Daria Koroleva and Emporium Linguae
Spanish for Adults Spain Spanish Certificate Courtesy of ICON/MAPI
Spanish for Adults and Children Spain * - See note below Courtesy of Dr Ignacio Garcia Doval and Professor Marcos Serrano-Dueñas.
Spanish (US) for Adults United States of America US Spanish Certificate 1 Courtesy of Corporate Translations, Inc
Spanish (US) for Children United States of America US Spanish Certificate 2 Translation courtesy of Pfizer and Corporate Translations, Inc
Swedish (Finland) for Adults Finland Swedish (Finland) Certificate Courtesy of AbbVie Inc.
Thai for Adults Thailand ¶  - See note below Courtesy of Prof K Kulthanan, Assoc Prof P Tuchinda, Assoc Prof L Chularojanamontri, Dr C  Rujitharanawong, Ms N Opastirakul, Ms N Ajalasereewong and Dr P Olsen.
Thai for Children Thailand ¶  - See note below Courtesy of Wanee Wisuthsarewong
Turkish for Adults Turkey Turkish Certificate Courtesy of Adelphi Real World
 

* indicates the translation has been created by a research group. We have had these translations checked for accuracy by a dermatologist fluent in English and the language of the translation, however, we cannot vouch for the methodology original used to create these translations (nor provide any certification).

¶ indicate that the translation team has followed our recommended steps for translating POEM fully. The back translations have been checked for accuracy by the CEBD team and signed off as completed.

Frequently Asked Questions (click on question to reveal answer)

Who owns the copyright of POEM?
POEM is copyright of the University of Nottingham.
 
What permissions do I need to use POEM in my clinic/observational study/clinical trial?

Commercial users must pay a per patient fee to use POEM – please visit MICRA Gateway for more information about licensing.

Non-commercial users should let us know how they are planning to use POEM via email at cebd@nottingham.ac.uk. 

 
How is scoring done?

Each of the seven questions carries equal weight and the responses are scored from 0 to 4 as detailed below: 

  • 0 = no days
  • 1 = 1-2 days
  • 2 = 3-4 days
  • 3 = 5-6 days
  • 4 = Every day
 
What does a POEM score mean?

To help patients and clinicians to understand their POEM scores, the following bandings have been established (see reference section below): 

  • Clear or almost clear = 0 to 2;
  • Mild eczema = 3 to 7;
  • Moderate eczema = 8 to 16;
  • Severe eczema = 17 to 24;
  • Very severe = 25 to 28
 
What happens when there are missing data and unclear responses?
The POEM scale is usually very well completed, however, occasionally patients may fail to complete all seven questions. If missing items occur the following rules should be followed:

  • If one question is left unanswered this is scored 0 and the scores are summed and expressed as usual out of a maximum of 28
  • If more than one question is left unanswered the questionnaire is not scored
  • If two or more response options are selected for a single question, the response option with the highest score should be recorded
 
Can I alter the wording or presentation of POEM?

Alterations to the layout/presentation (e.g. addition of trial logos) is permitted, however we do not advise making any changes to the wording of the POEM scale as this is likely to change its validity.

 
Do I need a license to reproduce POEM within another publication, such as a text book?
You can produce media, such as text books, containing copies of POEM as long as the wording remains unchanged and the copyright notice is intact.
 
Can I create an electronic / online version of POEM?

Electronic versions of POEM are permitted, however, please note the following:

Our recommendation would be that you do not use mandatory data entry fields for the individual questions on the POEM. This is to ensure the version you create remains as similar as possible to the paper version of POEM - thus allowing comparison of results from different trials.

Additionally, all validation work has been conducted using paper or online versions of the POEM scale that include the wording as specified* and which have allowed missing values to entered.  Changing this to make all questions mandatory could change the psychometric properties of the scale.

*The only changes which may need to be made in converting POEM into an electronic format relate to the instructions for completion. For example, the input method on the paper form states "please circle one response" - it would be acceptable to change this to "please tap" or "select."

 
Do you have any (more) translations?

We have a limited number of translations, and the ones which we have access to are available for free on the download section of this webpage.

In the future we hope to provide translations for languages not yet listed. Other organisations (e.g. PROQOLID) may have additional translations of POEM available for purchase.

 
I work for/on behalf of a organisation which requires POEM to be translated into another language. What permissions are needed?

You do not need a license to translate POEM into another language.

We are keen to make translated versions of the scale available to others in the eczema research community, so we would appreciate it if those who create translations would send us a copy to us, and allow us to share it on this webpage (we will acknowledge your contribution). Please also send the certificate of translation (as this contains details of how the translation was produced).

 
Is this translation of POEM suitable for a different population? / Is the English version suitable for all English speaking countries?
We cannot comment on the suitability of a translation for a particular population. Eventually we hope to run some cross-cultural validation studies as part of the Harmonising Outcome Measures for Eczema ( HOME) initiative. 
 

Original publications

The Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure: development and initial validation of a new tool for measuring atopic eczema severity from the patients' perspective. Charman C, Venn A, Williams HC. Arch Dermatol. 2004;140:1513-1519 

Translating Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) scores into clinical practice by suggesting severity strata derived using anchor-based methods. Charman CR, Venn AJ, Ravenscroft JC, Williams HC. Br J Dermatol. 2013; 169(6): 1326–1332.

Status as a Core Outcome instrument

POEM a core instrument to measure symptoms in clinical trials: a HOME statement.Spuls PI, Gerbens LA, Simpson E, Apfelbacher CJ, Chalmers JR, Thomas KS, Prinsen CA, von Kobyletzki LB, Singh JA, Williams HC, Schmitt J; HOME initiative collaborators .Br J Dermatol. 2016.

Standardized Reporting of the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) and the Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM): A Recommendation by the Harmonising Outcome Measures for Eczema (HOME) Initiative.
E. Grinich, J. Schmitt, D. Küster, P.I. Spuls, H.C. Williams, J.R. Chalmers, K.S. Thomas, C. Apfelbacher, C.A.C. Prinsen, M. Furue, B. Stuart, B. Carter and E. Simpson. Br J Dermatol. 2018 May 10. doi: 10.1111/bjd.16732.

Minimally important change

The Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure in young children: responsiveness and minimal clinically important difference.  Gaunt DM, Metcalfe C, Ridd M. Allergy 2016

EASI, (objective) SCORAD and POEM for atopic eczema: responsiveness and minimal clinically important difference. Schram ME, Spuls PI, Leeflang MM, Lindeboom R, Bos JD, Schmitt J. Allergy 2012 Jan; 67(1):99-106.

How should minimally important change (MIC) scores for the Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) be interpreted? A validation using varied methods.Howells L, Ratib S, Chalmers JR, Bradshaw L, Thomas KS; CLOTHES trial team. Br J Dermatol. 2018.

Other relevant studies

Do patient characteristics matter when calculating sample size for eczema clinical trials? L. Howells, S. Gran, J. R. Chalmers, B. Stuart, M. Santer, L. Bradshaw, D. M. Gaunt, M. J. Ridd, L. A. A. Gerbens, P. I. Spuls, C. Huang, N. A. Francis, K. S. Thomas. Skin Health and Dis. 2021;e42.

 
© The University of Nottingham. The Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) scale is free to use for non-commercial use only. Commercial use incurs a per patient fee. Permission is granted to reproduce and/or redistribute this material in its entirety without modification. Any use which falls outside this remit requires the express consent of the copyright owner.
 

Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The University of Nottingham
Applied Health Research Building
University Park, Nottingham
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telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 68631
email: cebd@nottingham.ac.uk