Childhood atopic dermatitis: a measurement of quality of life and family impact

Med J Malaysia. 2002 Sep;57(3):329-39.


Atopic dermatitis is the commonest skin disease in children, causing psychological, social and functional disability to them and their families. This study assessed the family impact and quality of life using the translated Malay version of The Dermatology Family Impact (DFI) and The Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) questionnaires. Seventy-two children, aged between 6 months and 16 years attending the Paediatric Dermatology Clinic at the Paediatric Institute and the Dermatology Department, Hospital Kuala Lumpur participated in this study. Thirty-nine patients (54.2%) were males and 33 patients (45.8%) were females. The median age of the patients was 74 months (Q1 6, Q3 104 months). The median age of diagnosis was 22 months (Q1 1, Q3 36 months). The median disease duration was 44 months (Q1 3, Q3 65). The severity of eczema was assessed using the SCORAD severity index (maximum score = 83). The median SCORAD (European Task Force On Atopic Dermatitis) score was 36 (n = 72, SD = 16.2). The majority of patients in this study suffered from moderately severe eczema (n = 40, mean, SCORAD = 29.3) followed by severe eczema (n = 27, mean SCORAD = 54.3). The mildly affected patients formed the minority group (n = 5, mean SCORAD = 9.0). The family impact was shown to be greater in severe atopic dermatitis compared to moderate atopic dermatitis (Anova, p = 0.02). The children's quality of life impairment was also greater in severe atopic dermatitis compared to moderate atopic dermatitis (Anova p = 0.08). This study confirms that quality of life and family impact are related to the severity of atopic dermatitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*