JAMA Dermatol. 2022 Oct 26. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2022.3911. Online ahead of print.
IMPORTANCE: Acne and rosacea have substantial implications for quality of life, and it is therefore important to ensure the patient’s voice is being captured in pivotal randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Although patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are a valuable tool to capture the patient perspective, little is known about use of PROMs in RCTs on acne and rosacea.
OBJECTIVE: To characterize the use of PROMs in RCTs on acne and rosacea.
EVIDENCE REVIEW: A systematic literature search was conducted using the search terms acne vulgaris and rosacea in the following databases: MEDLINE through PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. A modified search hedge for RCTs from the McGill Library was applied. All phase 2, 3, and 4 RCTs published between December 31, 2011, through December 31, 2021, that evaluated the efficacy and safety of therapies for acne and rosacea vs any comparator were eligible for inclusion.
FINDINGS: A total of 2461 publications describing RCTs were identified, of which 206 RCTs met the inclusion criteria (163 trials [79%] on acne and 43 [21%] on rosacea). At least 1 PROM was used in 53% of trials (110) included; PROM use was more common in rosacea RCTs (67% [n = 29]) compared with acne RCTs (50% [n = 81]). At least 1 dermatology-specific (13% [n = 27]) or disease-specific (14% [n = 28]) PROM was included in the RCTs analyzed. Only 7% of trials (14) included a PROM as a primary outcome measure. There was no statistically significant increase in PROM inclusion over the study period (11 of 21 trials in 2011 vs 5 of 12 trials in 2021).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this systematic review, PROMs were included in approximately one-half of acne and rosacea RCTs performed over the study period. In addition, PROMs were rarely used as a primary outcome measure, and inclusion of PROMs has not increased substantially over the past 10 years. Increasing use of PROMs in RCTs can ensure that the patient’s perspective is captured during the development of new treatments for acne and rosacea.