Quality of Life and Costs in Atopic Dermatitis

  • R. J. G. Arnold
  • R. K. Kuan
Reference work entry


Patients with atopic dermatitis ( AD) experience considerable burden due to the disease. This burden is multidimensional and impacts health-related quality of life (HRQOL), finances and treatment choices. A lower quality of life ( QOL) results from decreased social functioning, worse mental health, anxiety and stress, increased incidence of psychiatric disorders, behavioral problems and sleep loss. The burden of AD reaches beyond the patient and extends to caretakers and parents of children with AD, families of patients with AD, and partners of adults with AD. However, while AD has been shown to negatively impact HRQOL of both patients and their caregivers, there is evidence that effective treatment, specifically  immunomodulators, can significantly improve HRQOL.

In addition to its considerable impact on patient QOL, the monetary burden of AD is substantial. Studies have demonstrated  direct costs ranging from US $150 to 580 per patient per year, with the range of costs being reported due to different  cost-accounting methods. Typically, outpatient visits and medications comprised the majority of direct costs and costs tended to increase with increasing severity of AD.

There have been several studies comparing cost and cost-effectiveness of different uses of topical corticosteroids ( TCS) and of topical immunomodulators such as pimecrolimus and tacrolimus. In comparisons between once-daily and twice-daily applications of TCS, it remains debatable which regimen is more cost-effective. Studies have generally shown immunomodulators to be cost-effective versus TCS.


Atopic Dermatitis Mometasone Furoate Severe Atopic Dermatitis Tacrolimus Ointment Moderate Atopic Dermatitis 
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List of Abbreviations:


atopic dermatitis


average wholesale price


childhood atopic dermatitis impact scale


cost-effectiveness acceptability curves


children’s dermatology life quality index


disease controlled days


dermatitis family impact score


dermatology life quality index


dermatology-specific quality of life


family dermatology life quality index


high potency topical corticosteroids


health-related quality of life


incremental cost-effectiveness ratio


infant’s dermatology quality of life index


investigator’s global assessment


impact of chronic skin disease on daily life


parent’s index of quality of life in atopic dermatitis


parents of children with atopic dermatitis


probabilistic sensitivity analysis


quality-adjusted life year


quality of life


randomized controlled trial


short form-36


topical corticosteroids


visual analog scale




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. G. Arnold
    • 1
  • R. K. Kuan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community and Preventive MedicineMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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