Quality Of Life In Atopic Dermatitis In Asian Countries: A Systematic Review
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition which impacts psychological wellbeing and social relationships. There have been studies of AD’s impact on quality of life (QoL) in Western countries, but these findings cannot be directly extrapolated to Asian populations with genetic, environmental and cultural differences. Therefore, we aimed to systematically review the literature pertaining to QoL impairment in AD in East and Southeast Asia to characterize the impact of AD on patients and their families, and to identify the factors affecting the degree of QoL impairment. A search of English language papers was conducted on MEDLINE, EMBASE, PSYCInfo, Global Health and Web of Science. Observational studies measuring QoL using single or multi-item instruments in people with self-reported or physician diagnosed atopic dermatitis were included. 27 studies from 29 articles were included and synthesized. There is data documenting QoL impairment in AD sufferers and their families, across a wide range of Asian countries, healthcare settings and ages. Aspects of QoL impacted to a greater extent included symptoms of itch, feelings of embarrassment, and sleep disturbance. Severity of disease affects the degree of impairment of QoL, but there is no apparent link between QoL impairment and patient demographic factors, or other medical factors such as age at diagnosis or duration of illness. Our findings also highlighted the need for clinicians to actively explore the impact of patient’s symptoms, especially in an Asian context where healthcare communications are traditionally doctor-centric.