Charman et al developed the patient-oriented eczema measure (POEM) to allow patients to give their perspective on disease severity over the past week. This can be helpful in monitoring the patient over time and the effect of therapeutic interventions. The authors are from the University of Nottingham in England.

Informant: patient or parent of child


Signs and symptoms used in POEM:

(1) itchiness

(2) sleep disturbed

(3) bleeding

(4) weeping or oozing clear fluid

(5) cracked skin

(6) skin flaking off

(7) dry and rough skin


Number of Days Finding Present During Past Week


0 days (absent)


1 or 2 days (a few days)


3 or 4 days (some days)


5 or 6 days (most days)


7 days (every day)



total score =

= SUM(points for all 7 findings)



• minimum score: 0

• maximum score: 28

• The higher the score the more severe eczema was during the past week.


Modification used in spreadsheet to include more symptoms from the preliminary symptom list (from second column, page 1515):

(1) The authors excluded pain and soreness for children < 4 years since parents had difficulty answering.

(2) The authors excluded redness of the skin because it was hard to judge in Asians and Blacks because of underlying skin color.

(3) The third excluded symptom was tightness, which was not answered if respondents were confused by what it meant.

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