Although most skin conditions are not life threatening, they may have a major impact on the life of patients.
The burden of skin disease is a multidimensional concept that encompasses psychological, social and financial consequences of the skin disease on the patients, their families and on society.
Standardized and validated questionnaires offer an efficient method to quantify different aspects of the burden of skin disease. A combination of a generic quality-of-life measure, disease-specific quality-of-life measure, a measure of psychological stress and a utility measure, offer the most effective approach for measuring the overall impact of a skin disease. The first step would be to create awareness among the dermatology staff about the importance of measuring the quality of life of patients which could then be followed by formal training in the use of different measures.
While measuring the burden of skin diseases in society, it is important to keep in mind the ethnic background and cultural values of the population being studied.
Chronic incurable skin diseases such as atopic eczema and psoriasis, carry greater burden for the patient, family and society compared with acute and curable skin diseases, such as infections and infestations. However, the increasing incidence of skin cancers, in particular malignant melanoma, and its associated mortality continue to be major cause of concern for health authorities worldwide.
In order to make better cost-benefit analysis, there is a need to understand the economic cost of existing therapies for managing skin diseases.
No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.Reprint Address
Mohammad KA Basra, Lecturer in Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, UK; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2009;9(3):271-283. © 2009 Expert Reviews Ltd.
Cite this: Burden of Skin Diseases - Medscape - Jun 01, 2009.