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Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology 2021 October;156(5):580-7

DOI: 10.23736/S2784-8671.20.06613-4


language: English

Family burden of children suffering from epidermolysis bullosa

Santa DE STEFANO 1 , Francesca S. GRASSI 2, Faustina LALATTA 1, Giulietta SCUVERA 1, Michela BRENA 1, Paolo GRILLO 1, Walter E. PEVES RIOS 1, Sophie GUEZ 1

1 Foundation IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 2 University of Milan, Milan, Italy

BACKGROUND: Living with a rare disease has profound effects on the patient’s life and that of their entire family, with practical and psychosocial consequences. This is particularly true when the patient is a child. The principal aim of this study was to measure the family burden in Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). The secondary endpoint was to evaluate the possible correlation between family burden and the severity of EB.
METHODS: A sample of 50 families with one or two children affected by EB were recruited between January 2016 and February 2017 to answer a 20-item questionnaire - the EB Burden of Disease (EB-BoD) - developed and validated to assess the family burden of children with EB.
RESULTS: The presence of a child with EB may have profound negative implications on several different areas of daily life. In particular, the results demonstrate important differences between the different subtypes of epidermolysis bullosa regarding most of the categories considered by the questionnaire. For three categories out of four (family life, child’s life, economic and social impact), a higher score is observed for children with the more debilitating forms of EB: recessive dystrophic EB (RDEB) and junctional EB (JEB).
CONCLUSIONS: It is important to work with patients and their families to identify and strengthen adaptive and coping behaviors. That is possible only through the synergistic working of a multidisciplinary team made up of experienced doctors, psychologists, and social workers while in contact with patient Associations.

KEY WORDS: Rare disease; Psychosocial impact; Family burden; Quality of life; Epidermolysis Bullosa

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