Assessment of the quality of life of pediatric patients at a center of excellence in dermatology in southern Brazil

Avaliação da qualidade de vida dos pacientes pediátricos de um centro de referência em dermatologia no sul do Brasil

BACKGROUND: Skin diseases cause negative impact on the emotional state, social relationships and daily activities, due to the stigma caused by the appearance of the lesions. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the quality of life of pediatric patients with skin diseases attending a dermatology service, compare the scores obtained among the dermatoses found in the sample and associate them to the variables, in addition to observing how the skin disease specifically affects quality of life. METHODS: Cross-sectional study, with patients between 5 and 16 years attending the Dermatology Service of the University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, Brazil, between July 2010 and February 2011. The data collection instruments were the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire and the AUEQI questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 161 patients were interviewed, with mean age of 9,66 years. The main dermatoses were atopic dermatitis (29.8%), warts (13%) and molluscum contagiosum (7.5%). Chronic diseases (73.9%) were the most prevalent. The overall mean Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index score was 5.01 for chronic dermatoses and 2.07 for acute illnesses, indicating a compromised quality of life among chronically ill patients. The comparison between the scores obtained with the AUEQI scale and the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index scores indicates that the overall quality of life is less affected than the specific quality of life related to the dermatosis. CONCLUSIONS: The data presented reinforce how important it is that the patients, their families and caregivers understand the symptoms, triggers and treatment of the skin disease in question. This information facilitates adherence to the treatment and justifies the conduct adopted by the dermatologist.

Child; Dermatology; Quality of life; Skin diseases

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