Assessment of quality of life in patients with contact dermatitis

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Title Assessment of quality of life in patients with contact dermatitis
Year 2000
Investigators Linn Holness
CREOD Research Program Occupational Skin Disease
Research Theme Outcomes
Funder Unfunded
Product Type Research Study
Background Despite an increasing interest in multi-dimensional outcomes, relatively few studies have focused on quality of life outcomes for contact dermatitis (CD).
Study Focus (Research Question/Goals/
Methods)
We piloted a quality of life (QoL) questionnaire for CD, to gain experience and evaluate this kind of approach. Our questionnaire was based on Finlay, and included both closed and open questions. We surveyed 339 people with CD to assess their quality of life. Standard information was also collected: demographics, clinical history, exposure information, diagnostic information, and patch test results.
Key Findings Past history:

  • 23% eczema
  • 56% hand dermatitis
  • 28% allergic contact dermatitis, 29% irritant contact dermatitis
  • 39% work-related contact dermatitis

Participant experiences:

  • CD impacts both work and non-work quality of life.
  • Almost three-quarters of participants experienced itching or pain.
  • About a third reported that CD:
    • Was embarrassing
    • Interfered with work
    • Interfered with sleep
  • Other experiences:
    • Interfered with housework (23%)
    • Interfered with social/leisure (20%)
    • Treatment was bothersome (18%)
    • Influenced clothes worn (15%)
    • Interfered with sports (13%)
    • Problems with partner (12%)

Trends:

  • Embarrassment was most commonly associated with hand dermatitis.
  • Itch was most commonly associated with occupational and allergic contact dermatitis.
Implications for Health/Labour Policy and Practice As multi-dimensional outcomes are assessed more frequently, QoL questionnaires for CD (like this one) will be useful to develop.

Embarrassment could be interfering with reporting, which is a crucial step in treating and controlling CD. Interventions that address the embarrassment associated with CD could be helpful in improving outcomes.

Publication & Presentation Information Publications

  • Holness DL. Factors affecting quality of life outcomes in a patch test clinic population. Am J Contact Dermatitis 2000;11:255.
  • Holness DL. Results of a quality of life questionnaire in a patch test clinic population. Contact Dermatitis 2001;44:80-84.

Presentations

  • Holness DL.  Quality of life outcomes in contact dermatitis.  American Contact Dermatitis Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, March 1999.
  • Holness DL.  Factors affecting quality of life outcomes in a patch test clinic population.  12th International Contact Dermatitis Symposium, San Francisco, October 1999.
  • Holness DL.  Outcomes research in contact dermatitis.  Joint Meeting of Experimental Contact Dermatitis Research Group and American Contact Dermatitis Society, Cleveland, May 2006.