Assessment of Quality of Life in Acne a Key Component to Disease Management

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Dermatology-specific and generic scales were recommended for assessment in health-related quality of life in acne.
Dermatology-specific and generic scales were recommended for assessment in health-related quality of life in acne.

Assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with acne is gaining momentum as an important component of acne management. Pavel Chernyshov, MD, PhD, and colleagues from the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Task Forces on QoL and Patient Oriented Outcomes and Acne, Rosacea and Hidradenitis Suppurativa compiled a review of QoL instruments used in patients with acne, published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Thirteen members of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Task Forces conducted a literature search using the PubMed database. Search criteria included keywords "'acne" and "quality of life" for articles published between 1980 and 2018. Studies required incorporation of HRQoL measurement of acne for inclusion in the study, and review articles, guidelines and protocols were excluded.

A total of 186 papers were selected for final analysis, with 349 papers excluded. Most papers were clinical trials, epidemiologic studies, or studies of QoL instrument validation. For each QoL instrument, investigators summarized and tabulated information regarding its validation, purpose, limitations, and recommendations for improvement.

Dermatology-specific scales, including Dermatology Life Quality Index and Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQUI, CDLQI) and Skindex-29; acne-specific scales including Cardiff Acne Disability Index and Acne-QoL; and generic scales including Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey were recommended for assessment in HRQoL in acne. Each scale was identified as being brief and easy to use during routine clinic visits.

Evidence of impairments in QoL caused by acne was noted across all studies. Reviewers described severe cases of acne as being comparable to dermatologic diseases such as psoriasis regarding QoL effect. Furthermore, an association between impaired QoL and significant psychological problems was consistently noted.

According to the authors, this study may be helpful to dermatologists in selecting appropriate QoL instruments for their practice, while avoiding common pitfalls and errors in implementation. Furthermore, the results emphasize the importance of timely management of acne as well as improved patient education.

Disclosures: Several authors declare affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry.

Reference

Chernyshov PV, Zouboulis CC, Tomas-Aragones L, et al. Quality of life measurement in acne. Position Paper of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Task Forces on Quality of Life and Patient Oriented Outcomes and Acne, Rosacea and Hidradenitis Suppurativa. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018;32(2):194-208.

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