The burden of common skin diseases assessed with the EQ5D™: a European multicentre study in 13 countries

F Balieva, J Kupfer, L Lien, U Gieler, A Y Finlay, L Tomás-Aragonés, F Poot, L Misery, F Sampogna, H van Middendorp, J A Halvorsen, J C Szepietowski, A Lvov, S E Marrón, M S Salek, F J Dalgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Generic instruments measuring health-related quality of life (HRQoL), like EQ5D™, enable comparison of skin diseases with healthy populations and nondermatological medical conditions, as well as calculation of utility data.

OBJECTIVES: To measure HRQoL in patients with common skin diseases and healthy controls across Europe using the EQ5D.

METHODS: This multicentre observational cross-sectional study was conducted in 13 European countries. Each dermatology clinic recruited at least 250 consecutive adult outpatients to complete questionnaires, including the EQ5D.

RESULTS: There were 5369 participants (4010 patients and 1359 controls). Mean ± SD self-rated health state reported by patients was 69·9 ± 19·7; for controls it was 82·2 ± 15·5. When adjusted for confounding factors, including comorbidity, mean patient EQ visual analogue scores were 10·5 points lower than for controls (standardized β = -0·23). Odds ratio with 95% confidence interval for impairment in all five dimensions of EQ5D adjusted for confounders was doubled for patients compared with controls. Patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), blistering conditions, leg ulcers, psoriasis and eczemas had the highest risk for reduction in HRQoL in most dimensions (2-10-fold). Data on differences of impairment by dimensions offer new insights.

CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the large impact skin conditions have on patients' well-being, differentiating between aspects of HRQoL. Patients with HS, blistering diseases, leg ulcers, infections and most chronic skin diseases reported reduced HRQoL compared with patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and cancers. These findings are important in the prioritization of resource allocation between medical fields and within dermatological subspecialities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1178
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number5
Early online date29 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement Disorders/epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care/statistics & numerical data
  • Skin Diseases/epidemiology
  • Young Adult


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