A guidelines-based educational program on treating acne in teenagers has led to significant improvements in pediatricians’ management of the condition and decreased referrals to dermatologists, new research suggests.
A research letter published online May in thedescribed the results of a study involving 116 pediatricians, who participated in an educational program, including brief live sessions, on how to manage acne in teenagers.
After 4 months, researchers saw that acne-coded visits to pediatricians increased by 18% (P less than .001), but this did not translate to more work for the physicians involved; instead, three-quarters of those involved said the treatment process involved “minimal to no work.”
At the same time, the intervention was associated with a 26% decrease in the percentage of acne referrals to dermatologists, reported Jenna Borok of the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and her coauthors.
The researchers saw a fivefold increase in the likelihood of pediatricians prescribing retinoids (P = .003), after controlling for confounding factors such as sex and insurance status, and significantly less topical clindamycin being prescribed.
The study was initiated to address what the authors described as a “practice gap” between pediatricians treating acne, compared with dermatologists treating acne, which included significantly lower prescribing rates of topical retinoids among pediatricians.