Family Constellation Seminars Reduce Itch Associated With Atopic Dermatitis, Psoriasis

Family constellation seminars (FCS), which are developed to manage family and social stress, effectively reduce pruritus in patients with atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, according to study results published in Dermatologic Therapy.

Patients with atopic dermatitis (n=16) or psoriasis (n=15) and accompanying chronic itch were randomly assigned to either FCS (n=16) or a control group (n=15). The FCS group consisted of a series of 4 seminars for a total of 3 months. Patients only used emollients throughout the study period. A 27-item Electronic Calculator of Chronic Pruritus (ECCP) questionnaire was used to examine changes in itch, and the SCORing Atopic Dermatitis Index (SCORAD) and Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) assessed skin condition at the end of the study.

After 1 month, itch severity decreased from 8.42 to 4.78 in the FCS group (P <.01) and itch severity further decreased 9 months after FCS (P <.001). No significant changes occurred in the control group. Patients with atopic dermatitis who were randomly assigned to FCS experienced a significant decrease in the SCORAD from baseline to 1 month (21.5 vs 14.1, respectively; P <.05) and 9 months (7.2; P <.05).

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Patients with atopic dermatitis or psoriasis who participated in FCS had decreased itch, yet there were less visible changes in skin in patients with psoriasis. Overall, all 4 FCS were associated with high effect (r = .53) on reduction of itch and high effect (r = .74) on improving atopic dermatitis signs.

Study limitations include the small sample size and the lack of a true randomization.

“Positive effect of FCS gradually increases within (at least) 9 months and may lead to further decrease of itch and improvement of skin condition in patients with AD and psoriasis,” the researchers wrote.

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Jafferany M, Capec S, Yaremkevych R, et al. Effects of family constellation seminars on itch in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis: A patient preference controlled trial [published online October 3, 2019]. Dermatol Ther. doi:10.1111/dth.13100