Quality-of-Life Impairment in Patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Canadian Study

Afsaneh Alavi, Niloofar Anooshirvani, Whan B. Kim, Pat Coutts, R. Gary Sibbald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic relapsing condition with a clinical picture that includes solitary nodules; diffuse, painful abscesses; malodorous drainage; sinus tract formation; and scarring. Treatment options are often unsatisfactory. The adverse effects of this disease on quality of life (QoL) is not extensively studied, especially in the Canadian population. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to (1) identify the impairment of QoL in patients with HS and the aspects that are most affected, and (2) assess the correlation between disease severity (based on Hurley’s staging) and QoL impairment. Methods: This prospective case series studied 55 patients (38 females and 17 males) from community dermatology clinics in Ontario. All patients filled out the questionnaires for QoL data using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the Short Form 36 Version 2 (SF-36v2) health survey, either in the clinic or over the telephone. Results: The mean DLQI score was 10 ± 8.8, indicating a moderate effect on patients’ lives. In keeping with this, SF-36v2 scores were significantly reduced with respect to both physical and mental health. The severity of disease, as measured by Hurley staging, the number of lesions, and patient-reported QoL were significantly correlated with the DLQI score (β = 0.549, 0.285, 0.390, respectively; p = 0.000, 0.045, 0.004, respectively; α = 0.05). Conclusions: The impact on QoL for patients with HS is extensive yet underestimated; quantifying and assessing the burden of disease for the individual and society will lead to establishment of funding priorities and greater awareness of this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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