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Research Letter
January 2013

Quality of Life Differences Between Responders and Nonresponders in the Treatment of Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Drs Chang, Ghazi, and Werth and Ms Okawa); Department of Dermatology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Drs Chang, Ghazi, and Werth and Ms Okawa); and University of Medicine and Dentistry–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey (Dr Ghazi).

JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(1):104-106. doi:10.1001/2013.jamadermatol.467

Patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) have very poor quality of life.1 When compared with those with other skin diseases, patients with CLE are among those most severely affected by their condition. Psychologic aspects of quality of life in CLE are similar to, or worse than, what is experienced by patients with chronic hypertension, congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and recent myocardial infarction. In considering this, we were interested in assessing whether patients who demonstrated response to treatment also experienced change to their quality of life.

This institutional review board–approved study prospectively evaluated response to systemic therapy in patients with CLE using the CLE Disease Area and Severity Index (CLASI)2 and the Skindex-29.3 The CLASI is a validated clinical tool that quantifies disease activity and damage separately, with higher scores indicating more severe disease. The Skindex-29 is a validated, skin-specific quality of life measure that calculates 3 subscale scores: Emotions, Functioning, and Symptoms, with higher scores indicating worse quality of life.3