Believe the Parents: QOL in Families with Young Children with Eczema

Summary and Comment |
March 16, 2016

Believe the Parents: QOL in Families with Young Children with Eczema

  1. Mary Wu Chang, MD

We should listen to parents' assessment of their children's atopic dermatitis severity.

  1. Mary Wu Chang, MD

Caring for a child with atopic dermatitis (AD) involves daily skin treatment regimens, multiple medical office visits, and financial costs associated with medications and work absence. Disease flares bring additional stress. Quality-of-life (QOL) measures are increasingly important given the rising prevalence of childhood atopic dermatitis.

To better study predictors of QOL among parents and patients with childhood eczema, investigators studied 171 families attending an outpatient pediatric dermatology clinic in Croatia. The children ranged in age from 3 months to 7 years and had had AD for at least 3 months. Disease was assessed by the dermatologist-assessed Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index, and parents completed the Patient-Oriented SCORAD (PO SCORAD) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) questionnaires. Other measures, including corticophobia (fear of steroids), were assessed.

Family QOL was significantly correlated with the SCORAD score (correlation coefficient [r] = 0.578), PO SCORAD score (r = 0.447), itching (r = 0.528), sleeplessness (r = 0.583), and PSS score (r = 0.464). PO SCORAD score, sleeplessness, and PSS score were significant predictors. The SCORAD score correlated significantly with the PO SCORAD score. Corticophobia did not correlate with AD severity nor with family QOL

Comment

In this study, AD severity was perceived similarly by dermatologists (SCORAD) and parents (PO SCORAD), regardless of their corticophobia. In addition to examining the skin, an assessment of itching, sleeplessness, and perceived stress are vital in treating AD and parent and patient QOL.

Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication

  • Disclosures for Mary Wu Chang, MD at time of publication Consultant / Advisory board Pierre Fabre; Valeant Speaker’s bureau Pierre Fabre

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