Impairment quality of life in families of children with atopic dermatitis.Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2010; 18(4):243-7.AD
Atopic dermatitis (AD) not only changes the life of the affected child but also affects the physical, social and emotional functioning of parents. The aim of the study was to assess the quality of life of parents of children with AD and to correlate it with the disease severity. It was a cross sectional, self-administered questionnaire study performed in parents of children with AD attending dermatology clinics affiliated to the College of Medicine, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. The parents were asked to complete the validated Arabic version of the Dermatitis Family Impact (DFI) questionnaire. The severity of AD was evaluated by using the objective SCORAD index. Atopic dermatitis was considered mild when the score was <15, moderate at 15-40 and severe at >40. Out of a total of 774 children, 283 (36.6%) had mild, 259 (33.4%) moderate and 232 (30%) severe AD. The mean DFI score was 13.86±4.23. The DFI score of parents of children with severe AD (18.13±1.97) was significantly higher (P<0.001) as compared to mild (9.62±2.76) and moderate (14.68±2.26) AD. Family history of atopy in children and social class of parents had significant effect on the mean DFI scores. The highest scoring DFI domains were expenditure (mean score 1.74), sleep disturbance (mean score 1.73), food preparation (mean score 1.67) and emotional distress in parents (mean score 1.6). Tiredness and exhaustion in parents and housework were moderately affected, while the least affected areas were family leisure activity, treatment difficulties, time for shopping and relationship between family members. The severity of child's AD directly affects the quality of life of parents. The DFI is of value to guide appropriate management of children with AD and can be used as an added parameter in clinical trials concerning the management of children with AD.