Atopic Dermatitis: Preventing and Managing the Itch That Rashes, and a Case for the Multi-Theory Model (MTM) for Health Behavior Change for Educational Interventions Application of a Novel Theory to Self-Management Behaviors in Atopic Dermatitis

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Kayla Penny
Manoj Sharma
Amy E. Flischel
Robert T. Brodell
Vinayak K. Nahar


atopic dermatitis, environment, educational inverventions, behavioral theories, health behavior change, multip modal model


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial disease affected by a host of genetic, environmental, socioeconomic and demographic influences, that induce the atopic immune response in predisposed individuals.  Despite treatment with topical corticosteroids to reduce skin inflammation, emollients to improve the skin barrier, and avoidance of inflammatory triggers, many patients report progressive symptoms.  Management strategies are developed as modifiable environmental influences are identified.  Managing atopic dermatitis requires adaptive changes in health behavior involving the patient and often the caregiver. Multi-theory models (MTM) have not yet been used in AD interventions but may prove beneficial as they use behavior concepts to predict both initiation and sustenance in education health interventions.  A comprehensive approach fosters such changes by using psychological and educational strategies as adjuncts to conventional therapy. This article reviews the challenges in managing AD and the potential impact of behavioral theories. This is designed to strengthen the argument for using an MTM model in future studies of AD. 


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