Supplementary Material for: Topical Corticosteroid Concerns in Dermatological Outpatients: A Cross-Sectional and Interventional Study

Background/Aims: Topical corticosteroid concerns (TCC) are an important issue in patients with atopic dermatitis, leading to non-adherence with poor disease control and increased health care costs. However, neither the prevalence of TCC in a more comprehensible dermatological population nor the impact of patient information on topical corticosteroids given by clinicians is known. Therefore, we assessed the prevalence, characteristics, and sources of TCC in a dermatological population and the impact of written and oral patient information on TCC. Methods: A total of 643 outpatients with various skin diseases answered a 12-item questionnaire while waiting for the doctor's visit. Patients with TCC quantified their concerns on a discrete visual analogue scale before and after patient information, which consisted of written and oral information about topical corticosteroids (TCS) given by dermatologists. Results: The prevalence of TCC was 41.5%, and that of TCC-related non-adherence was 28.3%. TCC was positively associated with age <60 years, female gender, use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and non-physician health care profession. The leading concerns were skin atrophy, systemic effects, and impairment of the immune system. The most frequent sources of TCC were negative reports by media, family, or friends. Both written and oral patient information significantly reduced TCC. The number needed to benefit from patient information was approximately 2. Non-responders were more often female, TCS-inexperienced, and users of CAM with an intermediate level of education. Conclusions: TCC are highly prevalent in dermatological patients. Patient information may lower TCC in almost every second patient.