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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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PatientsLikeMe and atopic dermatitis: characterizing the atopic dermatitis patient profile


Introduction: Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a common dermatologic disorder that affects 17.8 million individuals in the United States. Online medical communities have become increasingly popular over the last several years, providing an additional avenue of therapy for patients.

Purpose: This retrospective analysis looks to characterize the AD patient profile to better assess features of the AD community and appraise PatientsLikeMe data with current AD literature.

Methods: PatientsLikeMe data recorded by April 2018 from persons who reported AD as their primary or secondary diagnosis were included in the analysis.

Results: The PatientsLikeMe database had 410 individuals reporting AD as of April 2018. Of these, 61.46% (252/410) report AD as their primary disease. Of those reporting, 180/199 (90.45%) were diagnosed by a medical professional whereas 19/199 (9.55%) were self-diagnosed. The number of persons recording predefined PatientsLikeMe symptoms are as follows: stress (20), fatigue (132), pain (126), anxious mood (118), and depressed mood (103). Significance: Patient-oriented medical communities are a valuable resource for those affected by various conditions. Although clinical applications are still uncertain, this data allows practitioners access to profiles self-defined by online users.

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