(Boston)--Can having a skin condition impact the quality of your life? Absolutely, claim Boston University School of Medicine researchers who have set out to find the best tool to measure the impact on patients.
Several dermatology and disease-specific tools have been developed to measure the impact of skin disease including the widely used Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the non-validated Skin Discoloration Impact Evaluation Questionnaire (SDIEQ). But the question remains: is one scale superior to the other, and/or easier to use?
In this study, BUSM researchers compared the DLQI with a short questionnaire (SDIEQ) to determine the impact of dark spots on a patients' quality of life
After analysis of 321 adults with hyperpigmentation disorders using both scales the researchers found that DLQI and SDIEQ were similarly effective in measuring quality of life, however SDIEQ was simpler to use and less time consuming.
"Knowing how a condition impacts a patients' quality of life is essential and a helpful guide in making treatment choices," explained corresponding author Neelam Vashi, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at BUSM and director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center at Boston Medical Center. "Measuring health related quality of life is also important in patients when it comes to allocation of resources."
Vashi added that further studies are needed to validate the use of this tool in different patient populations and potentially other disorders of pigmentation, such as vitiligo.
These findings appear as a Research Note in the Journal of Dermatology.