Quality of Life Impact of Childhood Skin Conditions Measured Using the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI): A Meta-Analysis

Br J Dermatol. 2016 Apr;174(4):853-61. doi: 10.1111/bjd.14361. Epub 2016 Mar 6.


Background: The Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) is the most widely used instrument for measuring the impact of skin disease on quality of life (QoL) in children.

Objectives: To provide a meta-analysis of all published QoL scores for a range of childhood skin conditions.

Methods: Studies using the CDLQI questionnaire to measure QoL in skin conditions were identified by searching Medline and Embase from January 1995 (CDLQI creation) to December 2014. Studies were grouped according to condition and baseline scores were combined using meta-analysis.

Results: Sixty-seven studies using the CDLQI met the inclusion criteria. The overall estimated CDLQI scores for conditions reported more than once were [point estimate (95% confidence interval, CI), number of studies (n), score range]: atopic eczema [8·5 (7·1-9·8), n = 38, 0-29], acne [5·3 (1·9-8·5), n = 5, 0-30], alopecia [3·1 (0-7·7), n = 2, 0-6], molluscum contagiosum [3·5 (0·6-6·7), n = 5, 0-27], psoriasis [8·0 (3·9-12·1), n = 6, 0-29], scabies [9·2 (0·0-20·3), n = 2, 1-26], urticaria [7·1 (0-15·4), n = 2, 0-22], vitiligo [6·5 (0·7-12·2), n = 2, 0-20] and warts [2·9 (0-5·8), n = 4, 0-16]. Overall, the mean effect on QoL [weighted average CDLQI score 4·6 (95% CI 3·9-5·4)] for children with these conditions was small. However, many children were found to experience a very large impact on QoL (34% of children with atopic eczema, 10% with molluscum contagiosum and 1-5% with acne) in studies where the distributions of scores were provided.

Conclusions: Most skin conditions in children have a 'small' mean effect on QoL. However, the range is large and a significant proportion of children with many common skin conditions will experience a very large effect on quality of life.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Diseases / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires