Assessing the quality of life of children with psoriasis

Author: British Association of Dermatologists (BAD)

Date: May 2012

In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology on 23rd May 2012, a team of researchers in the Netherlands looked at The Influence of treatments in daily clinical practice on the Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) in juvenile psoriasis as a longitudinal study from the Child-CAPTURE Patient Registry.

Psoriasis is a skin condition which affects up to 3% of the population and about a third of those affected will have been suffering since childhood. In children, psoriasis can have a negative effect on quality of life, because of itching, lack of sleep, embarrassment over appearance and treatment itself.

The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DQLI) and Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDQLI) were developed to measure consistently how skin conditions affect sufferers emotionally, socially and in their ability to go about their daily lives. In the treatment of Psoriasis these DLQIs and CDLQIs are often used in conjunction with the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) which looks at the clinical presentation and symptoms of the disease.

This study looked at whether treatments contributed to both a lowering of the PASI (the treatment was effective) AND a lowering of the CDQLI (a lower score indicating that there is less negative impact on quality of life) indicating that effective treatment improves quality of life for child sufferers of psoriasis.

A total of 125 patients were enrolled, with a mean CDLQI of 7.5 and a mean PASI score of 7.0. It was noted that itching and problems with treatment had the highest impact on the children’s quality of life. 85 patients were analysed with a total of 137 treatment episodes. Various treatment types were used and all treatments were found to contribute to a significant decline in the total CDLQI score.

A significant correlation was found between a decreased CDLQI score and a decreased PASI score with the greatest positive impact of treatments being found in a decline in itching and sleep disturbance.

Dermatologist Marieke Seyger of Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre says

"The use of CDLQI is important in the treatment of long term and persisting psoriasis, this study looks at the correlation between perception of improved quality of life and clinical improvements directly related to treatments. It also highlights that itch and sleep-disturbance had the greatest negative impact and that treatments that mitigated these therefore had the greatest influence in improving quality of life scores.

"This study highlights the need to assess both clinical symptoms and quality of life scores when treating childhood psoriasis."

This study is being released in the British Journal of Dermatology, the official publication of the British Association of Dermatologists

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