HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.
Michaela Crawford, Speaker at Dermatology Conferences
Meharry Medical College, United States
Title : The educational & financial considerations in atopic dermatitis


Background: Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, pruritic inflammatory cutaneous disease that affects people of all ages and demographics. This condition significantly affects patient quality of life. With the rise of new biological and over-the-counter treatments, we sought to explore whether patients' education and income level affect their accessibility to these regimens and knowledge of their disease. This study examines whether education level and income play a role in caring for one's atopic dermatitis.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in patients with AD at an academic facility. The survey was conducted through phone calls, during which patients answered questions based on their experience with AD. The survey collected data on disease severity, demographics, comorbidities, residential community, and other factors contributing to their quality of life. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS.
Results: Sixty-four patients participated in the survey, with a response rate of 78%. Responders were predominantly female (55%), with a mean age of 41. Participants were 48% White or Caucasian, 36% Black or African American, and 16% Asian or Asian American. Self-reported disease severity was labeled as mild (17%), moderate (33%), or severe (50%). Yearly income levels were reported as less than $50k (23%), $50-100k (14%), $100-150k (16%), more than $150k (20%), and 27% declined to answer. Regarding education, 36% had less than a college degree, 42% earned a college degree, and 22% earned a postgraduate degree. No significant association was found between income level and affordability of treatments (p=0.317), missed treatments and education level (p=0.067), nor education level and treatment regimen difficulty (p=0.936). Even though no statistical association was found between disease understanding and education level (p=0.263), results illustrated a stepwise increase between patient understanding and educational achievement.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest greater educational achievement correlates with a greater understanding of AD. A larger sample size may be necessary to gain statistical significance. In addition, improved patient counseling may be useful for enhanced outcomes across education levels. Further studies may be needed to test the efficacy of various patient instruction strategies to determine the best approach for each level of education.

Audience Take Away Notes:

  • Income level has no significant association on affordability of treatments
  • There is a stepwise increase between patient understanding and educational achievement
  • Physicians may try different methods of patient education based on each patient’s educational achievements
  • Further research may be needed to determine the best approach for each patient’s educational level


Michaela Crawford is a fourth-year medical student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. She is from Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, LA. Her interests include skin of color, alopecia, atopic dermatitis, and health equity. In her free time, she enjoys teaching yoga and volunteering at outreach events.