Bernd Arents

Patient Advocate, Dutch Association for People with Atopic Dermatitis

Why Plain Language Summaries?

“All research in medicine is meant for the benefit of patients. That also means that patients, or their carers, need access to what is published of that research. To achieve that, plain language summaries are crucial, leading to better informed patients.”


Bernd Arents is living with severe atopic dermatitis since birth and has severe food allergies. Due to ocular rosacea his eyesight is impaired. He has been a volunteer for the Dutch Association for People with Atopic Dermatitis (VMCE) since 1996. Besides having served on the board, his main activity is patient advocacy. As such he is involved in research, advises the European Medicines Agency in scientific procedures and does patient-review for several medical journals. For the Dutch Association of Dermatologists (NVDV) he co-authored evidence based guidelines and serves on two of its committees, to ensure the patient perspective. In 2019 he was awarded an honorary membership of the NVDV. For his patient advocacy he was awarded the knighthood of the Order of Orange Nassau from Queen Beatrix in 2008.