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Feasibility of weekly participant?reported data collection in a pragmatic randomised controlled trial in primary care: experiences from the BATHE trial (Bath Additives for the Treatment of cHildhood Eczema)

Stuart, Beth; Rumsby, Kate; Santer, Miriam; Ridd, Matthew J.; Francis, Nick A.; Chorozoglou, Maria; Spreadbury, Carla; Steele, Mary; Nollett, Claire; Liddiard, Lyn; Prude, Martina; Hooper, Julie; Thomas?Jones, Emma; Roberts, Amanda; Thomas, Kim S.; Williams, Hywel C.; Little, Paul


Beth Stuart

Kate Rumsby

Miriam Santer

Matthew J. Ridd

Nick A. Francis

Maria Chorozoglou

Carla Spreadbury

Mary Steele

Claire Nollett

Lyn Liddiard

Martina Prude

Julie Hooper

Emma Thomas?Jones

Amanda Roberts

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Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology

Paul Little


Background: Patient‐reported outcomes measures in clinical trials ensure that evaluations of effectiveness focus on outcomes that are important to patients. In relapsing‐remitting conditions such as eczema, repeated measurements may allow a more accurate reflection of disease burden and treatment effect than less frequent measurements. We asked parents/carers of children with eczema taking part in a trial of bath emollients to complete weekly questionnaires for 16 weeks.
Methods: The objective of this study was to determine the acceptability and practicality of collecting weekly measures of eczema severity online for 16 weeks in children aged 1 to 11 years as part of the BATHE study. BATHE randomised patients to bath emollients plus standard eczema care or standard eczema care only. The primary outcome was eczema severity, measured by the 7‐item Patient‐Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) repeated weekly for 16 weeks. Acceptability was explored through qualitative interviews with ten participants. Interviews were audio‐recorded, transcribed, and analysed thematically. Practicality was assessed by exploring the completeness of the data and keeping a log of any problems.
Results: 482 participants were recruited to the trial and 429 opted to complete measures online
(89.0%). Data were collected online for 83% of timepoints over the 16 week period and there was no association between socio‐demographic characteristics and data completeness. 206 (48%) completed their weekly data every week for 16 weeks and 341 (79%) completed it at least 80% of the time. The mean number of weeks completed was 13.3 out of 16 (s.d 4.2). Interviewees said they understood the rationale behind weekly collection and some welcomed this as it helped them realise how their child’s eczema changed weekly. While some interviewees spoke of weekly questionnaires as onerous, others said they found them quick and easy. Reminders were welcomed. Parents/carers seemed happy to receive telephone reminders and it was sometimes useful for eliciting problems relating to obtaining trial medication or password problems for online data collection.
Conclusions: Amongst this population, high levels of data completeness suggests that weekly completion of the online questionnaire appears to be acceptable and feasible over a 16 week period.
Trial registration number: ISRCTN84102309, Registered on 9/12/2013


Stuart, B., Rumsby, K., Santer, M., Ridd, M. J., Francis, N. A., Chorozoglou, M., …Little, P. (2018). Feasibility of weekly participant‐reported data collection in a pragmatic randomised controlled trial in primary care: experiences from the BATHE trial (Bath Additives for the Treatment of cHildhood Eczema). Trials, 19, Article 582.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 3, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 24, 2018
Publication Date Oct 24, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 17, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 17, 2018
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Article Number 582
Public URL
Publisher URL


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