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Mapping randomized controlled trials of treatments for eczema - The GREAT database (The Global Resource of Eczema Trials: a collection of key data on randomized controlled trials of treatments for eczema from 2000 to 2010)

Helen Nankervis1*, Alan Maplethorpe2 and Hywel C Williams1

Author Affiliations

1 Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, Room A103, King's Meadow Campus, University of Nottingham, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2NR, UK

2 Clinical Trials Unit, University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre Campus, Medical School, Derby Road, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK

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BMC Dermatology 2011, 11:10  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-11-10

Published: 18 May 2011



Massive duplication of effort occurs when researchers all over the world undertake extensive searches for randomized controlled trials when preparing systematic reviews, when developing evidence-based guidelines and when applying for research funding for eczema treatments. Such duplication wastes valuable resources.

Searching for randomized controlled trials of eczema is a laborious task involving scrutiny of thousands of individual references from diverse electronic databases in order to obtain a few papers of interest. Clinicians and patients who wish to find out more about a particular treatment are at risk of missing the relevant evidence if they are not trained in electronic bibliographic searching. Systematic reviews cannot be relied upon to comprehensively inform current optimal eczema treatments due to incomplete coverage and because many may be out of date.

An international, publically available and comprehensive resource which brings together all randomized controlled trials on eczema treatment using a highly sensitive search has the potential to release more filtered knowledge about patient care to those who need it most and to significantly shorten the duration and costs of many clinical eczema research and guideline projects.



esource of
rials brings together information on all randomized controlled trials of eczema treatments published from the beginning of 2000 up to the end of 2010 and will be updated every month.

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in The Cochrane Library and the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, AMED and CINHAL databases. We included 268 RCTs (24th March 2011) covering over 70 different treatment interventions.

The structure of the Global Resource of Eczema Trials allows the user as much, or as little, specificity when retrieving information on trials as they wish, in an easy to use format. For each trial, the database gives the citation for the published report and also provides enough information to enable a user to decide whether the trial is worth further scrutiny.


The Global Resource of Eczema Trials has been created to facilitate knowledge mobilization into healthcare and to reduce wastage of research time through unnecessary duplication. The collective time saved by research groups around the world can now be used to make strides in optimising the treatment of eczema, in order to further benefit people with eczema. The database can be accessed free of charge at webcite