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Quality of life in patients with skin diseases in central Saudi Arabia

Authors Abolfotouh M, Al-Khowailed, Suliman, Al-Turaif, Al-Bluwi, Al-Kahtani

Received 24 April 2012

Accepted for publication 10 May 2012

Published 24 July 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 633—642

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S33276

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Mostafa A Abolfotouh,1 Mohammad S Al-Khowailed,1 Wijdan E Suliman,1 Deema A Al-Turaif,1 Eman Al-Bluwi,2 Hassan S Al-Kahtani2

1King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud Bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, 2Dermatology Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Background: Previous national and international studies of quality of life (QoL) in patients with skin diseases have revealed different levels of QoL impairment. The aims of this study were to assess QoL in patients with skin diseases in central Saudi Arabia using the newly validated Skindex-16 instrument and to determine the association between QoL in patients with skin disease, sociodemographic data, and disease characteristics.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 283 adult patients who visited the outpatient dermatology clinics of King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, over 3 months. The patients were interviewed using a pretested Arabic version of the Skindex-16 to measure the effect of skin disorders on their QoL during the previous 7 days. Patient characteristics, medical history, and clinical findings were collected. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to relate the demographic and clinical characteristics to the percentage mean QoL score, and P # 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Results: QoL was good in 69% of the respondents, with a total percent mean score of 31.80 ± 20.16. The emotional domain was the most affected (mean percentage score 44.27 ± 27.06), followed by symptoms (31.45 ± 28.40) and functioning (14.61 ± 22.75). After adjustment for potential confounders, poorer QoL was significantly associated with female gender (P = 0.03), older age (P = 0.003), rural origin (P = 0.03), positive family history of the same lesion(s) (P = 0.01), shorter duration of ≤ 6 months (P = 0.02), generalized spread (P ≤ 0.02), and lack of isotretinoin treatment (P = 0.02).
Conclusion: The QoL results in this study were generally more optimistic than those of many previous studies. This discrepancy may be due to biases in questionnaire responses or to cultural differences in experience of skin disease and perception of disability. Significant predictors of QoL were not the same for the three domains of the Skindex scale. Further studies of specific diseases and educational programs targeting patients at higher risk for QoL impairments are recommended.

Keywords: quality of life, skin disease, Saudi Arabia


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