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Unformatted text preview: 54 Dermatologic Therapy, Vol. 21, 2008, 5459 Printed in the United States All rights reserved Copyright Blackwell Publishing, Inc., 2008 DERMATOLOGIC THERAPY ISSN 1396-0296 Blackwel Publishing Inc The psychosocial and occupational impact of chronic skin disease J UDITH H ONG *, B ONNIE K OO & J OHN K OO * * Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, California and Department of Dermatology, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York ABSTRACT: Chronic skin diseases, particularly psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, have a negative impact on patients quality of life. Patients often experience significant psychological and social distress such as increased levels of depression and fear of stigma. Skin diseases can also impact patients occupational lives by causing them to miss work or be less productive. Quality of life instruments provide important information for healthcare professionals, the general public, and those involved in distribution of healthcare resources, which helps prevent chronic skin disease from being overlooked amidst other medical conditions. KEYWORDS: atopic dermatitis, occupational, psoriasis, psychosocial, quality of life Introduction The impact of skin disease on patients lives is often overlooked by not only health policy makers and insurance companies, but also physicians and the general public. Because chronic skin dis- eases are often not life-threatening, attention and funds may be diverted to diseases that are per- ceived as more serious. However, the psychosocial and occupational impact of cutaneous illnesses is frequently comparable to, if not greater than, other chronic medical conditions. These negative effects can ultimately compromise overall quality of life. As stated concisely by Rapp et al., although not threatening to life itself, psoriasis (and other skin disease) can severely threaten the quality of life (1). Many chronic skin diseases such as chronic urticaria (2), hidradenitis suppurativa (3), and vitiligo (4) have significant effects on quality of life. This article, however, will focus primarily on psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD), which are both common skin diseases. Unfortunately, as there is no cure, patients often experience a life- long struggle with these conditions. The impact on patients lives from both diseases has been well documented. This review article begins with a discussion on the instruments used to measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and the comparison between chronic skin diseases and other medical illnesses. This is followed by a review of the psychological, social, and occupational impact of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis....
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This note was uploaded on 10/08/2010 for the course PSY 3001w taught by Professor Stellmack during the Fall '10 term at Minnesota.
- Fall '10