The effect of skin diseases on quality of life in adults attending the Dermatology Clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Skin diseases have a major impact on patients' lives in terms of psychological well-being, social functioning and everyday activities. The extent of impairment in daily functioning is related to severity of the condition and cosmetic appearance and affects quality of life.
Objective: To assess the impact of skin diseases on QoL based on the hypothesis that skin diseases significantly impair QoL. To explore determinants of QoL and relationship of disease subtype to QoL.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted in a dermatology clinic in Lagos, between December 2010 and January 2012. Consenting adults aged 18 years were recruited. DLQI Nigerian English and Yoruba versions were used; consisting of 10 items evaluating impact of skin disease on daily life over the past 7 days. The questions concern symptoms and feelings, daily activities, leisure, work and school, personal relationships and treatment. DLQI score has a maximum of 30 and a minimum of 0.
Results: Analysis was done on 2599 forms. There were more females (57.4%, 1491) than males (42.6%; 1108); mean age was 36.04 ± 14.14 years. Majority (27.9%) presented with a skin infection, while 23.7% had papulosquamous disorders. Total percentage DLQI score ranged from 0 – 100%, with a mean total % score of 34.11 ± 25.23. Highest mean total % score was in the ‘symptoms and feelings’ domain; and lowest mean total % score was in the ‘treatment’ domain’.
Conclusion: DLQI is a useful, feasible tool for this environment; it can be used to assess quality of life and enhance the quality of care.
Key words: DLQI, adults, QoL, Nigeria, Quality of life
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