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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 983804, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/983804
Research Article

Quality of Life in Alopecia Areata: A Sample of Tunisian Patients

1Department of Psychiatry A, Hédi Chaker University Hospital, Sfax, Tunisia
2Department of Dermatology, Hédi Chaker University Hospital, Sfax, Tunisia

Received 12 June 2013; Accepted 4 July 2013

Academic Editor: Masutaka Furue

Copyright © 2013 Jawaher Masmoudi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Alopecia areata (AA) has a significant impact on the quality of life and social interaction of those suffering from it. Our aim was to assess the impact of AA on the quality of life. Methods. Fifty patients diagnosed with AA seen in the Department of Dermatology of Hedi Chaker University Hospital, between March 2010 and July 2010, were included. Quality of life was measured by SF 36; severity of AA was measured by SALT. Results. Eighty percent had patchy alopecia with less than 50% involvement, 12% had patchy alopecia with 50–99% involvement, and 8% had alopecia totalis. Compared with the general population, AA patients presented a significantly altered quality of life, found in the global score and in five subscores of the SF-36: mental health, role emotional, social functioning, vitality, and general health. Gender, age, marital status, and severity of alopecia areata had a significant influence on patients’ quality of life. Conclusions. This study indicates that patients with AA experience a poor quality of life, which impacts their overall health. We suggest screening for psychiatric distress. Studies of interventions such as counseling, psychoeducation, and psychotherapeutic interventions to reduce the impact of the disease may be warranted.