Although many generic dermatological quality-of-life (QoL) instruments exist, none have been specifically designed for patients with allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). In the preceding publication—Validating a Quality-of-Life Instrument for Allergic Contact Dermatitis—we developed and validated a QoL instrument specific to the ACD population.
The aim of this study was to assess whether this ACD-specific QoL instrument appropriately captures change in QoL after patch testing in ACD patients.
One hundred individuals completed the previously validated 17-item QoL survey plus 2 global questions and the Skindex-29 before patch testing. Two months after patch testing and allergen avoidance, the participants repeated the same questionnaires. We used statistical methods to evaluate the capacity of the ACD questionnaire to measure change in QoL in comparison with the Skindex-29.
The novel ACD-specific questionnaire was more sensitive to change in QoL than the generic Skindex-29. Eleven of the original 17 items were found to capture change in QoL, and of the 3 domains (emotions, symptoms, functioning), the emotional aspect of the disease was most burdensome and responsive to change 2 months after patch testing. Providers can reliably use this index to assess changes in QoL over time.