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Pediatr Dermatol. 2010 Nov-Dec;27(6):618-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2010.01215.x. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

The impact of childhood atopic dermatitis on the patients' family.

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Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Qassim, Saudi Arabia.


Atopic dermatitis is a common childhood disease that impairs quality of life. The study aimed to clarify the impact of childhood atopic dermatitis on family life and to correlate severity of atopic dermatitis with family life. A cross-sectional survey was conducted at Qassim Region of Saudi Arabia over a period of 4 months extending from April to July 2009. The parents of children with atopic dermatitis were asked through a validated "Dermatitis Family Impact Questionnaire" about the impact of the disease on their life. For each questionnaire, a total score of 0 to 5 is considered as normal quality of life, 6 to 10 as low, 11 to 20 as moderate and >20 as high alteration in quality of life. The severity of the disease was evaluated using the SCORAD index. A total of 447 children with atopic dermatitis were included in the study. Their mean age was 65.9 months. Males constituted 57% of the patients. The mean score for quality of life in affected families was 13.9 (minimum 2, maximum 25). Based on our suggested classification, only 15 (3.4%) had normal quality of life, 104 (23.3%) were mildly affected, 297 (66.4%) were moderately affected, while 31 (6.9%) reported severe alternation in their quality of life. Sleep, monthly expenditure, and food preparation were the activities showing the highest level of disturbance. The disturbance in quality of life was significantly correlated to increasing severity of the disease. The study has emphasized the importance of investigating the quality of life of atopic dermatitis families. A simple questionnaire is a useful guide for appropriate management of the disease.

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