Background: The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), a self-administered general dermatology quality of life instrument, was originally developed and published in a dermatology clinic at University Hospital of Wales.
Objective: Our goal was to test the feasibility of having patients answer the DLQI in a busy dermatology clinic and to find out to what extent results vary from those published in Wales. We also wanted to examine the validity of the index in terms of the correlation between DLQI scores and stage of illness (disease severity).
Methods: We administered the DLQI to 200 consecutive patients who were seen in a dermatology clinic at Indiana University Medical Center. Results were examined in light of results found by those who originated the DLQI. A pilot group of patients were given the DLQI and rated for severity of disease by means of the Dermatology Index of Disease Severity (DIDS).
Results: Overall, the DLQI is easy to administer and can be completed within 3 minutes. The scores in our study were compatible with those previously reported by the DLQI originators. There was a "ceiling" effect in that 11% of the patients indicated no quality of life impairment on the DLQI rating. This index shows stratification with severity of disease.
Conclusion: The DLQI is an easy and efficient instrument for assessing quality of life in dermatology patients. Patients needed minimal assistance with the form. Our results were similar to those of the DLQI originators, and this further shows reliability and validity of the DLQI. In addition, this study further supports the use of DLQI as a quality of life instrument suitable for use in international studies.