Patients' perceptions of the usefulness and outcome of patch testing

Leigh Ann Scalf, Joseph Genebriera, Mark D.P. Davis, Sara A. Farmer, James A. Yiannias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Studies have shown the effect of allergic contact dermatitis on quality of life, but few address the impact of patch testing. Objective: We sought to determine patient satisfaction with patch testing, patients' perceptions of its usefulness, dermatitis outcomes, and recall of allergens. Methods: After patch testing, surveys were mailed to 1453 patients. Results: Response rate was 52.1%, 757 surveys returned: 518 women (68.4%) and 239 men (31.6%). More than 75% (578) of respondents were at least "somewhat satisfied" with the process; 51% (388) were "very satisfied." More than half (430, 58.3%) reported improved dermatitis. The 580 patients who had positive reactions remembered a mean of 51.0% of allergens; 198 of these (34.1%) remembered 100%. Of 2547 positive reactions to allergens, 1229 (48.3%) were remembered correctly. Limitations: Limitations were reporting bias and individual interpretations of questions. Conclusion: Although patients reported both satisfaction with patch testing and improvement in skin conditions, they forgot more than 40% of identified allergens. Techniques are needed to improve patient recall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)928-932
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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