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The University of Southampton

Research project: ECO - Eczema Care Online

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This programme of research aims to promote effective eczema self-care by improving individuals’ knowledge of eczema treatments and influencing attitudes, skills, and habits related to treatment use. 

Eczema Care Online Website


We will develop and test online resources that address the needs of people with eczema in supporting their use of eczema treatments. The research will focus on meeting the needs of carers of children with eczema, and teenagers and young adults who manage their own eczema. We will also address the concerns of patients and healthcare professionals around the safety of topical corticosteroids.

This project will be carried out through the following five inter-connected work packages (WPs):

WP 1: Explore the support needs and barriers to self-care through reviewing the existing evidence and conducting interviews with people with eczema and people who care for someone with eczema.

Objectives: Gain an understanding of experiences of eczema, including self-care support needs and patient/carer views on, and experience of, using eczema treatments.

WP 2: Systematically review existing evidence on topical corticosteroid safety.

Objectives: Establish current best evidence on the safety of topical corticosteroids and use this to create tools to support shared decision making and shared understanding between health professionals and people with eczema.

WP 3: Develop two online interventions to help support self-care: one for parents/carers of children with eczema and one for teenagers and young adults with eczema.

Objectives: Create two tailored interventions designed to target and influence behaviour. 

WP 4: Determine clinical and cost-effectiveness of the online interventions compared to standard care by performing two randomised controlled trials with health economic analyses.

Objectives: Feasibility randomised controlled trials will establish the trial recruitment and viability, and the full-scale trials will determine clinical and cost effectiveness.

WP 5: Investigate how the interventions can be integrated into clinical practice and facilitate their uptake if effective.

Objectives: Support the interpretation of the findings and facilitate uptake of the interventions and engage with clinical communities to promote sign-posting towards interventions.


Local Investigator: Dr Miriam Santer
Co lead with: Professor Kim Thomas (Nottingham)

Academic Programme Lead: Dr Ingrid Muller

Research team:
Professor Paul Little
Professor Lucy Yardley
Dr Beth Stuart
Dr Emma Teasdale
Dr Daniela Ghio
Dr Kate Greenwell
Dr Katy Sivyer
Dr Jacqui Nuttall
Mrs Julie Hooper
Dr Mary Steele

Professor Hywel Williams (Nottingham)
Dr Emma Mead (Nottingham)
Dr Jo Chalmers (Nottingham)
Professor Tracey Sach (UEA)
Mrs Sandra Lawton
Dr Mathew Ridd (Bristol)
Dr Sinead Langan (LSHTM)
Mrs Amina Ahmed (PPI)
Mrs Amanda Roberts (PPI)

Funder: NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (RP-PG-0216-20007)

Duration: 2017-2023




Related research groups

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education
Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)

Key Publications

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