Work ability and quality of working life in atopic dermatitis patients treated with dupilumab

J Dermatol. 2021 Sep;48(9):1305-1314. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.15939. Epub 2021 May 19.


Atopic dermatitis is associated with work productivity loss. Little is known about how patients perceive their work ability and quality of working life, and how this is affected by treatment. Our primary objective was to investigate work ability and quality of working life at baseline and during treatment in the long term. A registry-embedded prospective observational cohort study was conducted consisting of patients with atopic dermatitis starting dupilumab in routine clinical care. The instruments used were the Work Ability Index (WAI; questions 1, 2, and 3) and the Quality of Working Life Questionnaire (QWLQ). Ninety-three patients were included of whom 72 were (self-)employed (77%). From baseline to 48 weeks, the mean WAI-1 score (general work ability, range 0-10) improved from 6.8 (±2.0) to 7.9 (±1.3), WAI-2 (physical work ability, range 1-5) from 3.7 (±0.9) to 4.3 (±0.7), and WAI-3 (mental/emotional work ability, range 1-5) from 3.4 (±0.9) to 3.9 (±0.8) (p = 0.001, p = 0.005, p < 0.001, respectively). The mean QWLQ total score improved from 74.0 (±9.1) to 77.5 (±9.6) and subscale "Problems due to health situation" improved from 37.4 (±22.3) to 61.5 (±23.1) (range 0-100; p = 0.032, p < 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis starting dupilumab report decreased work ability and quality of working life, mainly due to health-related problems. Significant improvement of work ability and quality of working life is observed with dupilumab treatment.

Keywords: atopic dermatitis; dupilumab; occupation; routine clinical care; work.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Work Capacity Evaluation


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • dupilumab