Prescribing and using vitiligo treatments: Lessons from a nested process evaluation within the HI-Light vitiligo randomised controlled trial

Paul Leighton, Joanne R. Chalmers, Jonathan M. Batchelor, Andy Rogers, Akram Perways, Rachel H. Haines, Garry D. Meakin, Jennifer White, Jane C. Ravenscroft, Tracey H. Sach, Miriam Santer, Maxine E. Whitton, Viktoria Eleftheriadou, Kim S. Thomas

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Background: The HI-Light Trial demonstrated that for active, limited vitiligo, combination treatment with potent topical corticosteroid (TCS) and handheld narrowband ultraviolet B offers a better treatment response than potent TCS alone. However, it is unclear how to implement these findings. Aim: We sought to answer three questions: (i) Can combination treatment be used safely and effectively by people with vitiligo?; (ii) Should combination treatment be made available as routine clinical care?; and (iii) Can combination treatment be integrated within current healthcare provision?. Methods: This was a mixed-methods process evaluation, including semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of trial participants, structured interviews with commissioners, and an online survey and focus groups with trial staff. Transcripts were coded by framework analysis, with thematic development by multiple researchers. Results: Participants found individual treatments easy to use, but the combination treatment was complicated and required nurse support. Both participants and site investigators felt that combination treatment should be made available, although commissioners were less certain. There was support for the development of services offering combination treatment, although this might not be prioritized above treatment for other conditions. A ‘mixed economy’ model was suggested, involving patients purchasing their own devices, although concerns regarding the safe use of treatments mean that training, monitoring and ongoing support are essential. The need for medical physics support may mean that a regional service is more practical. Conclusion: Combination treatment should be made available for people seeking treatment for vitiligo, but services require partnership with medical physics and ongoing training and support for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1489
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number8
Early online date26 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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