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Impact of Pediatric Alopecia Areata on Quality of Life of Patients and Their Family Members: A Nationwide Multicenter Questionnaire Study

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Choi, Jee Woong; Kim, Yul Hee; Kwak, Hyunbin; Park, Jin; Lee, Won-Soo; Kang, Hoon; Kim, Jung Eun; Yoon, Tae-Young; Kim, Ki-Ho; Jang, Yong Hyun; Kim, Do Won; Kim, Moon-Bum; Lew, Bark-Lynn; Sim, Woo-Young; Jeon, Jiehyun; Seo, Soo Hong; Kwon, Ohsang; Huh, Chang-Hun; Lee, Dong-Youn; Lee, Yang Won; Park, Byung Choel; Won, Chong Hyun; Kim, Do Young; Kim, Hyojin; Kim, Beom Joon; Lee, Young; Kim, Sang Seok; Choi, Gwang Seong

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Annals of Dermatology, Vol.34 No.4, pp.237-244
Background: Pediatric alopecia areata (AA) can affect the quality of life (QoL) of patients and their family members. Research on the QoL and burden on family members in pediatric AA is limited. Objective: This nationwide multicenter questionnaire study described the QoL and burden of the family members of patients with pediatric AA. Methods: This nationwide multicenter questionnaire study enrolled AA patients between the ages of 5 and 18 years from March 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018. Enrolled patients and their parents completed the modified Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) and the modified Dermatitis Family Impact (mDFI). The disease severity was measured using the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) survey scores. Results: A total of 268 patients with AA from 22 hospitals participated in this study. Our study found that the efficacy and satisfaction of previous treatments of AA decreased as the severity of the disease increased. The use of home-based therapies and traditional medicines increased with the increasing severity of the disease, but the efficacy felt by patients was limited. CDLQI and mDFI scores were higher in patients with extensive AA than those with mild to moderate AA. The economic and time burden of the family members also increased as the severity of the disease increased. Conclusion: The severity of the AA is indirectly proportional to the QoL of patients and their family members and directly proportional to the burden. Physicians need to understand these characteristics of pediatric AA and provide appropriate intervention to patients and their family members.
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