POEM — Patient Oriented Eczema Measure
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 Harmonising Outcome Measures for Eczema (HOME) initiative as the core outcome instrument for measuring patient-reported symptoms in eczema trials.
See the reference section for studies relating to the validation of the scale and the Minimal Clinically Important Difference (MCID).
Contact usRegister your use
: If you're using POEM (or planning to use it) please contact us with details of how you would like to use the scale, and which countries the scale will be used in. This is to help us track the impact of the scale.
Click on the links below to download POEM for free .
POEM for adults
Also available as a Word file
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 children
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 all ages
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.
Translations of POEM (Click to reveal)
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
*Rows marked with "*" indicate that the translation has been created by a research group. We have had these documents 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).
Frequently Asked Questions (Click to reveal)
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?
We are delighted that you would like to use the POEM scale.
You do not need a license to use the scale as it is free to use and openly available. We would however ask that you send us an email to let us know how you plan to use it.
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/adapt POEM?
We do not advise making any changes to the wording of the POEM scale as this is likely to change its validity.
Alterations to the layout/presentation (e.g. addition of trial logos) is permitted.
How were the POEM translations created? Do you have any more translations?
The limited number of translations we have 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 however 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).
Note: We appreciate that some translation companies require permissions to be confirmed by email, so please do get in touch if this is the case.
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.
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.
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.
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.
© The University of Nottingham. The Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) scale is free to use. 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.