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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Dec;65(6):1107-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.10.016. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Quality of life in dermatomyositis.

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  • 1Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



Quality of life (QoL) for patients with inflammatory skin disease can be significant, but has been evaluated in just one study in dermatomyositis (DM).


We sought to examine the relationship between the Cutaneous Dermatomyositis Area (CDASI) and Severity Index, a DM-specific cutaneous severity instrument, and various QoL study instruments and to determine the impact of DM on QoL.


Skin-specific QoL instruments, the Skindex and the Dermatology Life Quality Index, and global medical QoL instruments, the Short Form 36 and the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index, were used. Pruritus was evaluated by a visual analog scale and a 0-to-10 scale in DM and cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) populations, respectively.


There was a significant correlation between the CDASI and all skin-specific QoL scores (lowest P = .0377). Using the Short Form 36, DM population was found to have significantly worse QoL scores than the general population with the exception of bodily pain (all subscore P values < .01). Furthermore, DM had a significantly lower vitality score, representing energy level, compared with CLE, hypertension, diabetes, and recent myocardial infarction scores (lowest P = .003). There was a significantly lower mental health score, representing overall mood, to all compared diseases except CLE and clinical depression (P values < .01 when significant). We found that DM produces more pruritus than CLE (P < .0001).


A larger patient population needs to be studied to further assess QoL in patients with DM.


We conclude that DM has a large impact on QoL, even when compared with other diseases, and that DM skin disease activity correlates with a poorer QoL.

Published by Mosby, Inc.

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