Korean J Dermatol.  2008 Apr;46(4):473-479.

A Survey of the Awareness, Knowledge, and Behavior of Topical Steroid Use in Dermatologic Outpatients of the University Hospital

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Kangnam St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. yymmpark@hotmail.com
  • 2Department of Dermatology, St. Paul's Hospital College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Topical steroids are a widely used therapeutic agent in dermatology. However, little objective data has been collected in order to assess the awareness, knowledge and behavior of patients regarding the use of topical steroids.
OBJECTIVE
The goal of this study was to investigate the current state of awareness, knowledge, and behavior of patients regarding topical steroid use.
METHODS
A written questionnaire was distributed to 570 outpatients who visited the dermatologic clinics of the University Hospital. Of these, 504 were appropriate and thus were included in this study for further statistical analysis. The questionnaire consisted of 26 items concerning the overall evaluation of the awareness, and behavior of outpatients regarding their use of topical steroids.
RESULTS
The results demonstrated that of 504 patients included in the analysis, 53.8% bought topical steroids with a dermatologist's prescription, whereas 33.6% obtained their topical steroids without prescription. The patient recognition rate of brand name, therapeutic effects, and side effects of topical steroids was 58%, 77% and 26%, respectively. Twenty percent of patients who have used topical steroids complained of side effects, the most common of which being pruritus (7.5% of cases). More than half of the patients said they obtained their information about topical steroids from sources other than the dermatologist. More than three quarters of patients (77%) applied topical steroids 1-2 times per day, whereas the overusers (4%) and the long-term users (16%) were applying topical steroids more than 5 times a day and longer than 16 weeks, respectively.
CONCLUSION
The results indicate that topical steroids have been used without sufficient information and guidelines. Taken together, it is suggested that dermatologists should more thoroughly explain the therapeutic effects, indications, and side effects of topical steroids to their patients.

Keyword

Awareness; Behavior; Knowledge; Questionnaire; Topical steroid use

MeSH Terms

Androsterone
Dermatology
Humans
Outpatients
Prescriptions
Pruritus
Steroids
Surveys and Questionnaires
Androsterone
Steroids
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