POEM and PO-SCORAD Instruments Recommended for Assessing Symptom Burden in Eczema

Close-up of eczema, showing an eczematous skin rash on the leg
Close-up of eczema, showing an eczematous skin rash on the leg
An article sets forth the recommendation on measurement of patients' most important domain: symptoms of atopic eczema in clinical practice.

The Harmonizing Outcome Measures for Eczema (HOME) executive committee recommend the use of the Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) and/or the Patient-Oriented Scoring Atopic Dermatitis index (PO-SCORAD) for measuring symptoms in patients with atopic eczema (AE) who receive treatment and routine care. Recommendations based on survey results from their members were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The HOME group identified and selected 18 instruments that assess AE symptoms in global clinical practice. Based on consensus at the HOME VI meeting in the Netherlands, an international panel selected the POEM and PO-SCORAD as suitable tools for examining AE symptoms in clinical practice. Consensus also included the numerical rating scale for itch (NRS-itch) in the HOME Clinical Practice set for assessing itch intensity in patients with AE. Future meetings will discuss the use of the NRS-itch scale for measuring itch intensity.

According to the recommendation, clinicians and patients are encouraged to apply the POEM, the PO-SCORAD, or both for assessing symptoms in clinical practice. Because these tools are available free of charge and are also developed into mobile apps, they are generally easy to use and should be recommended to patients, the committee said.

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The HOME group state in their recommendations that these 2 instruments should complement, rather than fully replace, the evaluation of a patient’s medical history and performance of a physical examination. In addition, the committee suggest that these tools could be used between visits to monitor and effectively manage disease control and symptom burden.

According to the HOME group, validated data from the POEM and PO-SCORAD regarding the symptom burden of patients with AD “can improve patient care from the individual patient level to a clinic, hospital or national level,” whereas these data “can be also collected and harmonized to provide for real-life research and quality improvement projects.”


Leshem YA, Chalmers J, Apfelbacher C, et al; Harmonising Outcome Measures for Eczema (HOME) initiative. Measuring atopic eczema symptoms in clinical practice: the first consensus statement from the harmonizing outcome measures for eczema in clinical practice initiative [published online January 8, 2020]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2019.12.055