In Münster, a specialized itch clinic focuses on the medical care of patients with chronic pruritus of any origin since 2002. A group of dermatologists, health economics and medical informatics specialists of Münster and Hamburg founded the first database which collects data of chronic pruritic patients. The database includes, for example, data concerning demographics, medical history, dermatological skin investigation, intake of medication, co-morbidities, underlying pruritogenic diseases, laboratory and radiological investigations and sensory pruritus characteristics (taken from the Münster NeuroDerm questionnaire).
With the use of the database, several aims can be achieved:
- Definition and comparison of different patient subgroups
- Benefit analysis of current treatments according to the guidelines
- Cluster analysis of sensory parameters to evaluate the characteristics of certain underlying diseases
- dentification of predictors for response and for complications
- Generation of real-world-data for health care research and economic analyses
The analysis of a large number of data will...
- lead to a deeper understanding of the course and characteristics of chronic pruritus
- foster a better understanding of the patients´ perception of the symptom
- allow identification of gender differences
- allow the improvement of medical patient care as well as the definition of new diagnostic and therapy algorithms
We expect that a national database will lead to harmonization of treatments, improvement of the patients´ quality of life and reduction of health care costs for of chronic pruritus patients.
The pruritus research database rests upon the x4T (exchange for Trials) system. The x4T-system is a result of the Single-Source project founded by the DFG, which is a joint project between the Institute of Medical Informatics and the Department of Information Systems. The main focus lies on supporting medical professionals with study documentation.
Usually, the documentation processes for routine patient care and clinical research are separated. Consequently, data collection and capture for research requires additional documentation time and double data entry is error-prone.
To redress this issue, the Single-Source project is to provide a system that makes use of medical routine data extracted from the local hospital information system, re-usable for clinical research.