Influence of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis on quality of life issues
More than 370 million women will experience recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) during their lifetime. However, RVVC is often trivialized as clinically insignificant and not worthy of research funding. We evaluated the influence of RVVC on the quality of life in affected women.
The validated World Health Organization Quality of Life Abbreviated Assessment (WHOQOL-Bref) questionnaire was administered to 100 women with RVVC and to 101 epidemiologically matched women with no history of vulvovaginal candidiasis. RVVC was defined as at least four episodes of clinical and culture-positive vaginal candidiasis within a 1 year period. Data were analyzed by Chi square, Student t test and analysis of variance. Internal consistency of responses to questions was evaluated by Cronbach alpha.
The Cronbach alpha coefficient was > 0.80 for responses to generalized questions and > 0.65 for answers to more specific questions, indicating substantial internal consistency. Perception of quality of life and satisfaction with their health was greatly reduced in the RVVC group (p < 0.001). Diminished responses to physical and psychological well-being were also reported by women with RVVC (p < 0.001). Various aspects of social relations including sexual activity were similarly reduced (p < 0.001) as were satisfaction with issues such as home environment, financial resources and employment (p < 0.001).
RVVC affects multiple aspects of a woman’s well-being. Women with this condition deserve serious attention from clinicians and research into susceptibility, prevention and treatment of this infection deserves much greater emphasis.
KeywordsHealth questionnaire Quality of life Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis
EI Fukazawa and IM Linhares: trial conception and design and wrote original draft. EI Fukazawa, R Robial, and JG Vinagre: patient interviews and initial data analysis. IM Linhares and SS Witkin: final data analysis and interpretation, and wrote final version of manuscript. IM Linhares and EC Baracat: study supervision.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any conflict of interest.
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