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Skin-Related Quality of Life During Autoimmune Bullous Disease Course

JAMA Dermatol. 2023 Sep 13. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.3121. Online ahead of print.


IMPORTANCE: Autoimmune bullous diseases (AIBDs) are chronic relapsing-remitting conditions with significant morbidity. Skin-related quality of life (SRQL) may vary by AIBD subtype and disease type. Disease severity and flare severity can be difficult to define; SRQL can offer a key insight.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the Skindex-16 score as an SRQL measure in AIBD subtypes during flare and nonflare states and to evaluate Skindex-16 construct validity.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted from September 1, 2016, to February 1, 2020, among 192 patients at the University of Utah Health autoimmune dermatology clinic with pemphigoid, pemphigus, dermatitis herpetiformis, and linear immunoglobulin A disease. Patients had an encounter-associated diagnosis, Skindex-16 scores, and self-reported flare status. Statistical analysis was performed from March 2022 to June 2023.

EXPOSURE: Autoimmune bullous disease subtype and patient-reported flare status.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Skindex-16 domain scores (emotions, symptoms, and functioning; range, 0-100, where 0 indicates no effect on SRQL and 100 maximum effect) and individual item scores were described by disease and flare status. Flare scores were expected to be higher by at least the standard error of measurement (SEm). Convergent validity was assessed using Spearman correlation among Skindex-16 scores, serologic titers, and other patient-reported outcome measures. Floor or ceiling domain scores (<20% of sample scoring either lowest or highest possible domain scores, respectively) were assessed for Skindex-16. Structural validity was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

RESULTS: The study included 192 patients with 212 visits (median age, 68 years [IQR, 58-76 years]; 123 of 212 women [58.0%]) with Skindex-16 scores (64 in flare state and 148 in nonflare state). Median Skindex-16 domain scores were higher for all disease categories among patients in the flare state compared with those in the nonflare state (pemphigoid [emotions: flare, 52.4 (IQR, 38.1-69.0); nonflare, 7 (IQR, 0-17); symptoms: flare, 37.5 (IQR, 29.2-58.0); nonflare, 13 (IQR, 0-25); functioning: flare, 26.7 (IQR, 10.0-56.7); nonflare, 0 (IQR, 0-3)]; pemphigus [emotions: flare, 54.8 (IQR, 31.0-81.0; nonflare, 0 (IQR, 0-19); symptoms: flare, 58.3 (IQR, 41.7-70.8); nonflare, 4 (IQR, 0-12.5); functioning: flare, 26.7 (IQR, 13.3-83.3); nonflare, 0 (IQR, 0-3.33)]; dermatitis herpetiformis [emotions: flare, 72.6 (IQR, 34.7-90.5); nonflare, 14.3 (IQR, 2.4-26.2); symptoms: flare, 69 (IQR, 31.3-85.4); nonflare, 12.5 (IQR, 0-29.2); functioning: flare, 38.3 (IQR, 5.0-63.2); nonflare, 0 (IQR, 0-13.3)]. This difference exceeded SEm cut points. Cronbach α was greater than 0.80 for all domains and AIBDs. Moderate or low correlations were seen with desmoglein 1 and bullous pemphigoid 180 titers. Moderate correlation existed between Skindex-16 and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Depression scores (emotions: ρ = 0.40; symptoms: ρ = 0.41; functioning: ρ = 0.48), and strong correlation existed between Skindex-16 and patient-reported disease severity (emotions: ρ = 0.71; symptoms: ρ = 0.73; functioning: ρ = 0.66). Floor domain scores greater than 20% were seen among patients in the nonflare state, but ceiling domain scores were rare (<10% for all domains); CFA model fit was poor.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cross-sectional study, SRQL was highly associated with flare of AIBDs. Skin-related quality of life was worse during periods without flare among patients with pemphigoid and dermatitis herpetiformis compared with pemphigus, highlighting residual SRQL morbidity. Skindex-16 showed good construct validity, but the poor CFA model fit needs further research. Clinical measurement of SRQL in AIBDs can add critical disease-severity information.

PMID:37703003 | DOI:10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.3121

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