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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2019 February;154(1):72-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.17.05642-5


language: English

Quality of life among dermatology patients: a systematic review of investigations using qualitative methods

Sanminder SINGH 1, Nazanin EHSANI-CHIMEH 2, Heather KORNMEHL 3, April W. ARMSTRONG 2

1 Davis School of Medicine, University of California, Sacramento, CA, USA; 2 Department of Dermatology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 3 Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

INTRODUCTION: Quality of life may be assessed using quantitative or qualitative methods. Quantitative methods are commonly used in research settings; however, they may fail to capture the full range of patient experiences and impact on quality of life. Qualitative methods may be used to address this limitation. In this systematic review, we aim to synthesize data from articles utilizing qualitative methods to assess quality of life in dermatology patients.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We performed a systematic review search using the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and SCOPUS databases. The search was conducted using the following search criteria: (“Dermatology” [MeSH]) AND (“Quality of Life” [MeSH]), AND (“Qualitative Research” [MeSH]), searching literature spanning from January 1, 1946 to October 5, 2016.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The systematic review of 15 articles included 533 dermatology patients. Patients expressed frustration over the unpredictability of disease symptoms and having to compensate for the subsequent limitations by altering their daily routines. Patients also reported profound helplessness due to chronic skin disease and social isolation in an effort to hide their disease. Patients noted the patient-provider relationship as a source of support and information exchange, with the goal to form easy to use treatment plans that met both physician and patient expectations.
CONCLUSIONS: Qualitative assessment of patient quality of life can provide new insights into the patient experience and the impact of their skin disease. Qualitative methodology may capture meaningful information that may be overlooked by quantitative methods, and it should be included in quality of life research.

KEY WORDS: Quality of life - Dermatology - Qualitative research - Review

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