November 17, 2016
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Childhood psoriasis impacts parents' quality of life

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Parents’ quality of life was impacted in multiple ways by childhood psoriasis, according to study results published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Megha M. Tollefson, MD, of the division of clinical dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues conducted semistructured interviews with 31 parents of children aged 18 months to 17 years (62% male) with psoriasis. There were 29 mothers and two fathers who were interviewed without children present.

Plaque was the most common type of psoriasis affecting the children (86%), followed by inverse (7%), guttate (3%) and generalized pustular psoriasis (3%).

All the parents reported a negative impact on their quality of life because of their child’s psoriasis. Interview data produced four major themes: health and self-care; emotional well-being; family and social function; and personal well-being and life pursuits.

More than half (52%) of parents reported sleep disruption and 35% reported impaired ability to manage personal care (35% of parents) was reported.

Forty-five percent reported considerable stress directly related to their child’s psoriasis, and 19% reported feelings of depression and anxiety.

Parents reported financial concerns related to the psoriasis (26%), as well as time to treat the psoriasis and travel for medical appointments (23%).

Impact of career or education (29%), special accommodations in their own lives for their child’s psoriasis (65%) and negative impact on their own time (48%) were reported by parents.

“The results of this study are a testament to the pervasiveness of childhood psoriasis in a parent’s life,” Tollefson and colleagues concluded. “Information from this study can be used to develop a [quality of life] instrument to explore treatment and support strategies for families affected by pediatric psoriasis.” – by Bruce Thiel

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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