Quality of Life in Swedish Children with Eczema
Agneta Gånemo, Åke Svensson, Magnus Lindberg and Carl-Fredrik Wahlgren
The burdens of childhood eczema are many and some can be assessed with quality of life (QoL) questionnaires. Seventy-eight Swedish children with mild-to-severe eczema (“atopic dermatitis”, prurigo Besnier), fulfilling established diagnostic criteria, were investigated for the effect of eczema on QoL. This was measured with validated questionnaires: the Infants' Dermatitis Quality of Life Index (IDQOL), the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), and the Dermatitis Family Impact Questionnaire (DFI). The study also included scoring of eczema severity. The median score was 7.0 (range 1–18) for IDQOL, 6.0 (range 2–18) for the CDLQI, and 8.0 (range 0–27) for DFI. There was no significant difference in scores between boys and girls. The DFI scores were higher for younger than for older children, and also higher for those with both eczema and asthma, food allergy/intolerance, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis or urticaria. The QoL scores correlated significantly with the Rajka & Langeland score, but not with objective SCORAD. The outcome of the QoL instruments in this study clearly demonstrates that childhood eczema affects the children's and their families' QoL. QoL data offers a patient-oriented outcome measure of importance for understanding the patients' and their families' situation. Such information can also be used in intervention studies and in the allocation of healthcare resources to eczema care.