Layton, Alison, Eady, E Anne, Peat, Maggie, Whitehouse, Heather, Levell, Nick, Ridd, Matthew, Cowdell, Fiona, Patel, Mahendra, Andrews, Stephen, Oxnard, Christine, Fenton, Mark and Firkins, Lester (2015) Identifying acne treatment uncertainties via a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership. BMJ Open, 5 (7). e008085. ISSN 2044-6055

Objectives: The Acne Priority Setting Partnership
(PSP) was set up to identify and rank treatment
uncertainties by bringing together people with acne,
and professionals providing care within and beyond the
National Health Service (NHS).
Setting: The UK with international participation.
Participants: Teenagers and adults with acne,
parents, partners, nurses, clinicians, pharmacists,
private practitioners.
Methods: Treatment uncertainties were collected via
separate online harvesting surveys, embedded within the
PSP website, for patients and professionals. A wide
variety of approaches were used to promote the surveys
to stakeholder groups with a particular emphasis on
teenagers and young adults. Survey submissions were
collated using keywords and verified as uncertainties by
appraising existing evidence. The 30 most popular
themes were ranked via weighted scores from an online
vote. At a priority setting workshop, patients and
professionals discussed the 18 highest-scoring questions
from the vote, and reached consensus on the top 10.
Results: In the harvesting survey, 2310 people,
including 652 professionals and 1456 patients (58%
aged 24 y or younger), made submissions containing at
least one research question. After checking for relevance
and rephrasing, a total of 6255 questions were collated
into themes. Valid votes ranking the 30 most common
themes were obtained from 2807 participants. The top 10
uncertainties prioritised at the workshop were largely
focused on management strategies, optimum use of
common prescription medications and the role of nondrug
based interventions. More female than male patients
took part in the harvesting surveys and vote. A wider
range of uncertainties were provided by patients
compared to professionals.
Conclusions: Engaging teenagers and young adults in
priority setting is achievable using a variety of
promotional methods. The top 10 uncertainties reveal an
extensive knowledge gap about widely used interventions
and the relative merits of drug versus non-drug based
treatments in acne management.

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