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Assessing quality of life in Alopecia areata patients in China

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Alopecia areata (AA) is a common chronic hair condition that has negative impact on both patients and their families. The aim of this article is to assess the impact of AA on patients’ quality of life (QoL) using the dermatology life quality index (DLQI) questionnaire, and assess its feasibility and internal consistency. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 831 patients with AA between January 2010 and July 2012. The Chinese version of DLQI questionnaire was used to assess the QoL of AA patients more than 16 years old. About 698 patients (84%) completed the questionnaire. The scores ranged from 0 to 29 with a mean of 5.8 ± 5.6. Patients’ QoL was affected moderately to extremely by AA. Questions 2 (embarrassment), 5(social or entertainment), and 3 (shopping or housework) had the most impact on patients. Mean score of younger patients was higher compared to older ones (6.2 vs. 4.8, P < .05). Patients with alopecia totalis/alopecia universalis, longer duration, local symptoms, and recurrent disease exhibited higher scores (P < .001). Among our patients with AA, Cronbach’s alpha was .881, indicating high internal reliability of DLQI questionnaire. In conclusion, AA moderately affected the QoL of the patients. These individuals had to be treated early, and required psychological support in addition to prescription drugs.
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Keywords: Alopecia areata; China; clinical study; dermatology life quality index; quality of life

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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