Abstract Number: 186

Issues surrounding topical corticosteroid use amongst dermatology patients in NSW public hospitals: A qualitative analysis and development of a topical corticosteroid patient identification chart

A. Yang , J.W. Frew

Meeting: 2014 Dermcoll

Session Information

Date: -

Session Title: Poster Presentations

Session Time: -

Background: Inappropriate use of topical corticosteroids is
widespread in the community. Previous studies have identified
factors which contribute to this phenomenon including:
lack of patient education and understanding;
inappropriate prescribing practices and ‘self-medication’ by
patients either with over-the-counter preparations or previously
prescribed therapies.
Aims: This study comprised of qualitative analysis of issues
surrounding topical corticosteroid use in dermatology outpatients
in NSW public hospitals, as well as the development
and validation of a topical steroid patient identification chart in order to address previously identified issues. This
study was conducted from May 2013 to January 2014 and
was approved by the St Vincent’s Area Health Service HREC.
(Reference Number: LNR/13/SVH/349).
Methods: Qualitative Methodology was based upon
Grounded Theory and consisted of eight sequential steps:
Item Generation Interviews, Transcription and Open
Coding, Identification of Themes and Interrelationships,
Development and Distribution of Initial Questionnaire;
Identification of Intervention (Topical Steroid Identification
Chart); Distribution of Chart; Distribution of Follow up
Questionnaires; Chart Refinement.
Results: Item Generation yielded six overarching themes
including: “Exacerbation/causation of cutaneous conditions;
Knowledge of topical corticosteroids; Inappropriate
Use; Identifying Currently Used Preparation; Patient Education
and ‘Steroid-Phobia’.
A visual identification chart of topical corticosteroids
including information on packaging, preparation and relative
strength was developed as an intervention designed to
address these themes. Pre and Post-distribution questionnaires
were administered to participants and responses
Conclusion: The development of a visual identification
chart for topical corticosteroids is a simple yet effective
intervention addressing key patient management issues in a
dermatological outpatient setting.