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What is the effect on Quality of Life for parents with a child living with a chronic skin condition?

Children and eczema: Presentation of recent scientific literature

This is part of the first series of medical report round-ups presenting some of the latest research on dermatology. We’ve pulled together the following information on a recent study on how having a child with atopic dermatitis affects parents.  

  • Having a child with atopic dermatitis  affects the parents Quality of Life (QoL): Atopic dermatitis is the most common chronic form of eczema among children. Due to the inconvenience of treatment methods and the potential need for hospitalisation,, the child’s condition strongly affects the parents quality of life.     

  • How parents are  affected differs between mother and father: QoL was significantly reduced for both parents, but in different aspects of their daily life. Mothers are often more affected than fathers, and reported increased focus on caretaking and household duties, as well as decreased emotional well-being due to other people’s perception of their child. Fathers were mostly affected in response to work related issues like reaching deadlines, number of working hours, and conflicts with coworkers.  

  • Increased focus within parents’ well-being should be part of the therapeutic process: Within the last 4-6 years there have been an increased awareness on the effect on parents who have a child with a chronic skin condition. This new-found awareness is important in response to understand, guide and educate parents.

These were the findings from a recent published study on the effect on parents who have  a child with AD. Furthermore, the study showed, perhaps unsurprising, that there is a direct correlation between the child’s severity and the parents QoL.

It is important to mention that the study is carried out among parents of 50 Polish children (aged between 2-24 months). Other studies haven’t seen the same difference between how the two parents were affected, which can be thought reveal the difference in cultural and traditional family models between Poland and other European countries.      

Title of publication: Quality of Life of Parents of Children with Atopic Dermatitis.

Date and journal: Acta Derm Venereol, June 2017

Link to article: Acta Derm Venereol.  2017 Jun 9;97(6):711-714. doi: 10.2340/00015555-2633.
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