Objectives: The primary objective was to examine the influence of parents' gender on the assessment of quality of life among infants with atopic dermatitis. The secondary objective was to examine the psychological factors affecting the assessment.
Methods: Questionnaires were completed by 28 couples, as a basis for gender comparison. Data were gathered on disease severity, confidence of treatment, Major Depression Index (MDI), Spielberger Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Infants' Dermatitis Quality of Life Index (IDQOL).
Results: The mothers' scores were higher than those of fathers for all assessments, although differences were not statistically significant. Significant correlations were found between MDI and severity assessment for mothers only and between MDI and STAI for both genders. Multiple linear regression analysis suggested gender differences in the proposed model, where only depression was appearing statistically significant (P = 0.029).
Conclusion: Our data presented suggest that no significant gender-dependent differences occur in parents' overall severity assessment of the eczema in their children, but the influence of the different factors studied is not equal in the two sexes. Future instruments aimed at surrogate assessment of disease severity in children by their parents should take this into account and provide explicit testing of possible gender differences.