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June 4, 1997

Dermatologic Disorders Diminish Quality of Life

Author Affiliations

JAMA contributor

JAMA. 1997;277(21):1663. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540450019007

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WHEN PATIENTS with severe psoriasis were asked if they thought it would be better, worse, or the same to have psoriasis, diabetes, asthma, or bronchitis, they said having psoriasis was better. But patients whohad both psoriasis and one of the other illnesses said having the skin disease was worse (Br J Dermatol. 1995;132:236-244).

Patients may find skin diseases more disabling than some illnesses widely regarded as more serious, Andrew Finlay, MD, senior lecturer and consultant dermatologist at the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, Wales, said in a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in San Francisco, Calif, in March.

Skin diseases may substantially diminish a patient's quality of life (QOL), he said, restricting work, social, family, leisure, and sexual activities. Patients typically see these diseases as more troubling than their physicians do. Yet a physician's perception of a patient's emotional state, he noted,