Clinical Pediatric Dermatology Open Access

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Atopic Dermatitis in Cameroon: Quality of Life and Psychiatric Comorbidities among Affected Children and Adolescents Running Head: Atopic Dermatitis and Psychiatric Impairments

Emmanuel Armand Kouotou, Jobert Richie Nansseu, Erna Gaëlle Tuekam Tuekam, Sandra A Tatah, Isidore Sieleunou and Elie Claude Ndjitoyap Ndam

Background: The dearth of Cameroonian data on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) prompted this study which aimed to assess the impact of AD on QoL of affected children and adolescents as well as their families, and seek existence of psychiatric comorbidity (depression and anxiety).

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study from February to May 2015 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Patients aged 0-16 years, diagnosed with AD by a dermatologist, and whose parents/guardians had given consent were included. Standardized scores and scales were used to assess the severity of the disease, the QoL of patients and families, as well as the presence of depression or anxiety.

Results: A total of 53 children were recruited. The median age was 60 months. There were 23 cases of severe AD, 21 of moderate AD and 9 of mild AD. QoL was impaired in 94.3% of cases, moderate in 20 subjects, high in 8 patients and extreme in 2 patients. QoL of the family was impaired in 88.7% of cases, moderate in 16 and high in 7 families. The higher the severity of AD, the more QoL of patients was impaired (r=0,475; p<0.0001), as well as that of families (r=0,365; p=0.007). Alteration in patients’ QoL was linked with that of families (r=0.527; p<0.0001). There were 5 teenagers with mild depression, 2 with mild anxiety, and 1 with moderate anxiety.

Conclusion: AD alters the QoL of children and their families.