Measurement of a possible patch-testing outcome indicator

Rosella Gallo, Manuela Baldari, Valentina Fausti, Martina Montinari, Francesca Santoro, Konstantina Christana, Rita Rosso, Emanuele Cozzani, Aurora Parodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Clinical performance measurements often employ outcome indicators to express the extent to which health services achieve a given clinical result. Objective: The objective of our study was to develop an outcome indicator of patch testing. We identified and measured as a possible indicator the ratio of patients with allergic and/or photo-allergic contact dermatitis clinically cured/improved as a result of identification of relevant allergens. Patients/Methods: Patients with positive reactions considered relevant to their current dermatitis were interviewed by telephone 2 months after patch/photo-patch testing in order to assess their clinical outcome in relation to the recommended elimination of supposedly relevant allergens. Results: Over a 4-year period positive reactions were seen in 1397 out of 2857 tested patients. Relevance was considered current in 578 subjects, and 506 of them were interviewed. Remission/significant improvement following allergen(s) contact avoidance was reported by 431 patients, the outcome indicator (431/506) thus scoring 85.2%. Among the 75 patients who reported no improvement, 41 had not avoided contact with the offending substance(s), 17 had other persistent concomitant skin conditions, and 17 were unchanged despite elimination of the alleged relevant allergens. Conclusions: The ratio of relevantly patch-test-positive patients resolved/improved after allergen avoidance is a useful patch-testing outcome indicator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Follow-up
  • Outcome indicator
  • Patch test
  • Performance measurement
  • Perspective study
  • Relevance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Medicine(all)


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