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Quick, easy QoL tool for hyperpigmentation patients

The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the non-validated Skin Discoloration Impact Evaluation Questionnaire (SDIEQ) are both effective at measuring quality of life in patients with hyperpigmentation disorders, though the SDIEQ is simpler to use, according to a new study.

A Research Note in the Journal of Dermatology (Mar. 2018; 45(3):251–333, e51-e62) concluded that the SDIEQ is a simpler tool and, with only five questions, it is less time‐consuming for patients to fill out. The researchers said the SDIEQ “can have practical application in both research and clinical settings in those with skin [discolouration].”

In a cross-sectional study, investigators from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) looked at data from 321 adults with skin hyperpigmentation including melasma, post‐inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and other hyperpigmentation disorders who were given both the DLQI and SDIEQ. Statistical analyses were performed using Stata/SE version 13.0 (StataCorp, College Station, Texas). Descriptive statistics for the sample and mean scores were generated for the DLQI and SDIEQ. The total DLQI and SDIEQ scores were obtained for each respondent by tallying the questions pertaining to each scale together. The correlation between the DLQI and the SDIEQ total scores was performed using Spearman’s ranked order correlation, noted the researchers.

“Knowing how a condition impacts a patients’ quality of life is essential and a helpful guide in making treatment choices,” explained corresponding author Dr. Neelam Vashi, assistant professor of dermatology at BUSM and director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center at Boston Medical Center, in a press release. “Measuring health related quality of life is also important in patients when it comes to allocation of resources.”

Dr. Vashi added that further studies are needed to validate the use of this tool in different patient populations and potentially other disorders of pigmentation, such as vitiligo.

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