Impact of atopic dermatitis on the quality of life of Nigerian children: A hospital-based cross-sectional study
Background. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common inflammatory skin disease in childhood. A skin disorder with a relapsing course, AD exerts a significant disease burden on affected children. However, there is a dearth of knowledge about the impact of AD on the quality of life (QOL) of affected children in Nigeria.
Objectives. To examine the impact of AD on QOL in children of various age groups, and to identify the relationship between patient variables (age, gender, socioeconomic status), disease severity and QOL in AD.
Method. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study of children with AD attending the dermatology clinic of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria. AD cases were recruited from new paediatric patients ≤16 years who attended the clinic over a 6-month period. English and Yoruba versions of the Infants’ Dermatitis Quality of Life Index (IDQOL) and the Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) were used to determine the QOL of the subjects. AD severity was evaluated using the Objective SCORing of Atopic Dermatitis (obj-SCORAD) index.
Results. Forty-seven subjects with AD were identified. Their ages ranged from newborn to 16 years. The median(interquartile range (IQR)) IDQOL score was 6.0 (3.0 - 15.5; n=25), and the median (IQR) CDLQI score was 9.5 (7.75 - 17.75; n=22). The mean (standard deviation) obj-SCORAD score was 34.4 (17.2). The question on itching was the highest-scoring question in both QOL questionnaires. There was no significant difference in QOL across age, gender and socioeconomic status groups. However, greater QOL scores were significantly correlated with higher AD severity scores.
Conclusion. The study confirms that AD impairs the QOL of affected children in all age groups. QOL assessments are relevant tools which provide a patient’s perspective, thus improving the understanding of the impact of AD on afflicted individuals.