Adolescents Prefer Total Acne Clearance Strategy

August 19, 2008

Adolescent acne patients prefer a treatment strategy that would offer 100 percent acne clearance without scarring, and would be willing to pay more money to achieve this outcome, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent acne patients prefer a treatment strategy that would offer 100 percent acne clearance without scarring, and would be willing to pay more money to achieve this outcome, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Cynthia L. Chen, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues surveyed 266 adolescent acne patients about three different hypothetical acne outcomes: 100 percent clearance, 50 percent clearance, or 100 percent clearance with residual scarring.

The researchers found that mean utility scores were significantly higher for 100 percent clearance (0.978) than for 50 percent clearance or 100 percent clearance with scarring (0.967 and 0.965, respectively). They also found that the subjects were willing to pay a median of $275 in order to have avoided acne in their lifetime, and were willing to pay significantly more to achieve 100 percent clearance than to achieve either 50 percent clearance or 100 percent clearance with scarring.

"Adolescents in the community have demonstrated their ability to make acne-related time trade-off and willingness-to-pay utility valuations and should not be overlooked in future assessments of health state preferences," the authors conclude. "Their inclusion in these studies may aid in the management of acne in this age group by providing information for cost-effectiveness analyses of medications, aiding in therapeutic decision making, and increasing physicians' understanding of the psychosocial impact of this disease."

One of the study authors reports a financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

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