Dermatology Life Quality Index in Thai Patients with Acne

Kanokvalai Kulthanan, Sukhum Jiamton, Renu Kittisarapong

Abstract


Objective: Acne is an inflammatory disease of pilosebaceous units. Major complications of acne are scarring and psychosocial effects. When compared to other chronic illnesses, patients with acne have been shown to have levels of social, psychological, and emotional impairments similar to those with serious diseases. This study is aimed to assess the effects of acne, including acne severity and acne scar on the patientûs quality of life using a Thai version of the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI).

Methods: One hundred and ten patients with acne who attended the Dermatology Outpatient Clinic, Siriraj Hospital, were asked to complete the Thai version of the DLQI questionnaires by themselves. Clinical severity of acne and acne scars were assessed.

Results: Of 110 patients, 80 (72.7%) were females with a mean (SD) age of 26.0 (6.6) years and a range of 16-52 years. Most of the patients were students. The mean total DLQI score was 8.95 (range 0-24). Questions concerning embarrassment had the highest mean DLQI score, which meant the greatest impairment of the quality of life. The others that also had high mean DLQI scores were questions which represented social activities, itchy/sore/painful/stinging skin, and treatment difficulties, respectively. Concerning personal relationship problems, female patients had significant higher mean DLQI scores than male patients (p<0.05), which implied that women might be more concerned about the visual effects of their acne lesions than men. Most patients with mild acne (63%) had low DLQI scores. However, some patients with mild acne also had a high DLQI score which implied that even mild acne can pose a significant problem. QOL scores were lower in patients with mild rather than severe acne scar.

Conclusion: Physicians should not underestimate the QOL impairment of patients with acne. The use of this simple questionnaire may help physicians to recognize the presence of psychiatric distress and may help facilitate further inquiries and/or referral to a psychologist.


Keywords


Acne; quality of life

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