Background The last two decades, instruments to measure quality of life in dermatology patients, such as the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), have been developed and used. The quality of life among patients with hand eczema has been little explored.
Objectives To investigate the quality of life in a group of patients with hand eczema at Ullevål Universitetssykehus (UUS). Additionally the association of DLQI scores and variables such as sex, age and self-rated severity were examined.
Methods We used the Norwegian version of DLQI together with questions concerning our chosen variables that were taken from other validated questionnaires. The questionnaires were handed out by the authors to the 21 patients prior to their consultation with their dermatologist at UUS. The patients DLQI score was calculated according to guidelines. The DLQI scores, together with the other variables, were analysed using the statistical soft ware SPSS.
Results The participation rate was 100%. 16 of the 21 respondents were female, 5 were male. The patients age was uniformly distributed, in a range from 16 to 59 years. Our population had a higher DLQI score (mean 12,05) than in a background population. We found a correlation between DLQI and absence from work. We did not find any correlation between DLQI score and age or sex.
Conclusions Hand eczema is related to a reduced quality of life. Absence from work contributes to lowering the quality of life additionally. Further investigation is needed to draw conclusions on whether age, gender and socio-economic variables, or the characters of the dermatitis influence the dermatology patients´ quality of life.