November 1997

Is a Simple Generic Index of Dermatologic Disease Severity an Attainable Goal?

Author Affiliations

Queen's Medical Centre University Hospital Nottingham, England NG7 2UH

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(11):1451-1452. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890470129020

SIMPLE TOOLS for measuring disease severity for a range of dermatologic disorders are still limited. Currently, if we wish to record a change in disease severity for a person with an inflammatory dermatosis, we are constrained into using either complex, objective scales developed for clinical trials (eg, Psoriasis Area and Severity Index1) or the other extreme, such as global rating by a dermatologist into mild, moderate, or severe categories. Clinical trial scales often take considerable time and training to use properly, and the clinical significance of a change in score from 34 to 26 may not always be apparent to consumers. Global rating by a dermatologist may appear to have better validity, but it is highly subjective and dependent on the viewpoint and background of the observer. There seems to be nothing in between for staging dermatologic disease severity. We need an instrument that is quick, easy to perform,

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