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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.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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

OBJECTIVE:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

LIMITATIONS:

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

CONCLUSION:

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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