- A quantitative measure of disease burden in pruritus patients.
- ItchyQol can be used to measure a patient's response to a therapy.
- The instrument may be useful as a secondary or coprimary end point for clinical trials.
Pruritus is the chief symptom in numerous dermatologic conditions, and a common symptom in systemic disorders, infectious diseases, and neoplastic diseases. The prevalence of pruritus in the general population estimated to be 10%. Not only is pruritus a widespread phenomenon, it also can have a significant quality-of-life (QOL) impact in patients' lives. In a recent French study, more than 40% of patients with chronic pruritus described their disease as burdensome.
The severity of pruritus is typically measured either by observing the amount of scratching by the patient or by asking the patient to rate pruritus on a severity scale. However, neither the amount of scratching nor the visual analog/numeric scale measures the impact of pruritus on patients' QOL. While generic QOL instruments have many limitations, condition-specific instruments, by contrast, focus on QOL aspects pertinent to a particular condition. As a result, they have the advantage of being shorter, more appropriate, and more sensitive to subtle, specific QOL issues related to the disease in question. Although generic and skin-specific QOL instruments are available, they do not directly assess the issues specific to pruritus and, thus, will not adequately capture itch-specific QOL impact. Dr. Chen has developed a pruritus-specific QOL instrument, called ItchyQoL, based on concerns and issues pertinent to patients with pruritus.
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