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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2007 May;18(3):245-9.

Atopic dermatitis: quality of life of young Italian children and their families and correlation with severity score.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Bologna, Italy.


The aim of this study was to determine the ways in which atopic dermatitis (AD) affects the lives of young Italian children and their families, in terms of quality of life, and correlate it with AD severity and the perception of severity as estimated by the family. The parents of 45 children aged 3-84 months affected by AD were asked to complete two validated questionnaires after clinical examination. The first questionnaire was about the child's quality of life (Infants' Dermatitis Quality of Life Index); the second regarded the family's quality of life (Dermatitis Family Impact questionnaire). In a further question parents were asked to estimate the severity of the disease of the child. Children's quality of life appeared slightly-moderately altered (mean score 10.2) compared with the value of a control group (3.3), and itching, sleep problems and the influence of the disease on the child's mood were the cause of greatest discomfort for the child. Family quality of life appeared moderately altered (mean score 11) compared with the value of the control group (7.4). The greatest problem was the disturbed sleep of the family members. Other important problems were the economic cost for the management of the disease and the tiredness and irritability caused by the disease in parents. Analysis of the responses confirms the incorrect estimation of the severity of the disease perceived by the family. In our opinion, the two questionnaires may be useful in clinical practice to understand better the difficulties suffered by a family with a child affected by AD. They also provide data that may help to improve the clinical approach for the child and the family, and to assess the degree of under-/overestimation of the disease by the family.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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