Home > Dermatology > AAD 2021 > What Is Hot in Atopic Dermatitis > Atopic dermatitis in children has a severe impact on their families

Atopic dermatitis in children has a severe impact on their families

AAD VMX 2021
A worldwide survey conducted in 18 countries found that atopic dermatitis can considerably decrease quality of life in families of affected children in various domains.

Although atopic dermatitis (AD) is common in childhood, information on the impact of the disease on the family is lacking. To fill this gap, a cross-sectional, web-based survey of children aged 6 months to <18 years was conducted in 18 countries in 5 regions [1]. Parents were invited to participate without knowledge of the survey topic. To be considered as having AD, the patients should meet the following 3 criteria: (i) ever had an itchy rash that was coming and going for at least 6 months; (ii) had this rash at any time in the past 12 months; and (iii) the rash was noted on the fold of the elbows, behind the knees, in front of the ankles, under the buttocks, or around the neck, ears, or eyes. In addition, there had to be a physician diagnosis of eczema with or without skin allergies. Children were stratified as having clear/mild, moderate, or severe AD based on patient’s global assessment in the past week. Parents reported on the impact of living with a child with AD on their family quality of life (QoL) in the past week using the Dermatitis Family Impact (DFI) questionnaire (0–5, normal; 6–10, low impact; 11–20, moderate impact; >20, high impact), time spent taking care of their child due to AD in the past week, and time missed from work for AD-related issues in the past 4 weeks.

Data was analysed of 7,465 children with diagnosed AD (clear/mild 59.0%; moderate 35.9%; severe 4.9%). There were increasing scores of DFI assessed on a scale of 0 (no impact) to 30 (highest impact) with increasing AD severity in all countries. In addition, time spent on care and the need to take time off work increased in parallel with AD severity in all countries (see Figure). All domains of family life were considerably disrupted including everyday-life activities, social activities, sleep, and emotional and financial domains. The survey highlights that childhood AD negatively impacts quality of life of the patient’s family and their caregivers, with the burden generally increasing with AD severity.

Figure: Time spent on care in dependence of AD severity in participating countries [1]

  1. Barbarot S, et al. Worldwide survey shows that atopic dermatitis in children is associated with a negative impact on their families. Poster 27473, AAD VMX 2021, 23-25 April.

Copyright ©2021 Medicom Medical Publishers

Posted on