Objectives: To design and evaluate the usefulness of a community pharmaceutical intervention in reference to atopic dermatitis consultations in the community pharmacy office, establishing consensus with dermatologists regarding the criteria for patient referral. To identify the most common reasons for consultation and determine which cases require referral to the physician.
Methods: An epidemiological study was carried out in Spanish community pharmacies between February 2011 and January 2012, including all pharmacy users consulting due to skin problems. After receiving specific online training, the participating pharmacists applied the consensus-based intervention protocol. The reasons for consultation were registered, along with the cases of referral to the physician, the existence of overinfections, and the use of adequate products for skin care.
Results/Discussion: A total of 259 pharmacies from 15 Spanish autonomous communities participated in the study, with the registry of 688 valid interventions. A total of 354 patients (51.5 %) were males and 334 (48.5 %) females, and disease conditions were found to be more frequent in patients under 14 years of age. In 70 % of the cases referral to the dermatologist was not necessary. Reasons for consultation: itching, irritation, sleep disturbances, anxiety and stress, and overinfection (35 %) as the main cause of referral.
Development and diffusion of the protocol and referral criteria, as well as of the results of the study among the associates of Sefac and the rest of community pharmacists will allow the resolution of many cases of atopic dermatitis – thereby contributing to improve patient quality of life.