Childhood Eczema: An Environmental Scan

Table of Contents

2.0 METHODOLOGY

2.1 Academic and Gray Literature Search: Databases

The academic literature was retrieved from the following databases: PubMed, CINAL, EMABASE, Sociological Abstracts and Scholars Portal Research and numerous electronic sources of information. Identified keywords were used along with other parameters that included years 2003-2009 and English publications only. Appendix A: ‘Bibliographic References’ is a bibliographic resource and lists the results of the environmental scan.

2.1.1 Strategies and Keywords

In order to research all necessary elements in the environmental scan, it was important to explore lay and clinical terms associated with childhood eczema. Appendix B: ‘Search Strategy: Keyword Summary’ details the selected key words used in all searches that gathered information contained within this report. Initially, searches were performed using ‘eczema’ and followed by secondary terms such as ‘atopic’ and ‘dermatitis’. Subsequent searches incorporated secondary terms e.g., epidemiology, treatment etc. The process continued until information was gathered using all the terms listed in Appendix B.

2.2 Websites and Organizations

The electronic information reviewed for the environmental scan used several search engines: Google, Google Scholar, Google Chrome, and numerous RRS Feeds. Additionally, a collection of electronic references were incorporated into both the gray literature search and the final report. For a complete list of organizations and electronic resources see Appendix C: ‘Organizations and Electronic Resources: Information and Blogs’.

2.3 Key Informants

The selection of the Key Informants was executed by the epidemiologist commissioned for this project. The selection criteria was based on gathering a cross-section of identified champions with backgrounds in academic research, clinical experience, alternative treatment and healing and experts in food allergies. Additionally, it was important to have broad global representation thus informants were chosen from Canada, United States, UK and Australia. Each key informant was interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide and were asked questions regarding research priorities and resource needs in the area of eczema. The key informant interview elements are incorporated in the final report and referenced in the report where necessary.

For a complete list of the selected key informants and the semi-structured interview guide see Appendix D: Selected Key Informants and Appendix E: ‘Key Informant Interview Guide’. Note, the final column of Appendix E provides information on whether or not the key informant interviewee has been contacted and if the interview is completed. The key informants, who provide relevant and specific information in this report are referenced in the body, see bibliography listing for further details.

In all of the completed interviews, there were recurring themes surrounding the need for research in the area of environmental triggers and allergies along with a crucial need for health care professional and patient education in the area of atopic dermatitis. For example, clinicians on the front line such as general practitioners and pediatricians require comprehensive treatment education whereas patients need access to the same information in lay terms so they can work effectively with their health care team.