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19-06-2018 | Uitgave 10/2018

Quality of Life Research 10/2018

Association between quality of life and clinical characteristics in patients with morphea

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 10/2018
G. Bali, S. Kárpáti, M. Sárdy, V. Brodszky, B. Hidvégi, F. Rencz
Belangrijke opmerkingen
B. Hidvégi and F. Rencz have equally contributed to this work.



Morphea can lead to considerable cosmetic or functional impairment; nevertheless, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is rarely documented in adult morphea patients.


To investigate the impact of morphea on HRQoL and to identify determinants of impaired HRQoL.


A cross-sectional study has been carried out among adult morphea patients. HRQoL was evaluated by the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). The modified Localised Scleroderma Skin Severity Index (mLoSSI) and the Localised Scleroderma Damage Index (LoSDI) were applied to evaluate disease activity and damage, respectively. Physician Global Assessment of Activity and Damage (PGA-A, PGA-D) were also completed. Determinants of HRQoL were analysed by multiple regression.


A total of 101 patients (84% females) entered the study, with a mean age of 56.8 ± 14.8 years. Median mLoSSI, LoSDI, PGA-A and PGA-D scores were 8, 5, 9 and 9 points, respectively. Patients with generalised localised (51%) and plaque-type morphea (45%) had median total DLQI scores of 4 and 1, respectively. Embarrassment (53%), itchy or painful skin (46%), and clothing issues (43%) were the most commonly reported problems in the DLQI. Female gender, generalised morphea, higher disease activity (PGA-A score) and involvement of hands and/or feet were significant predictors of impaired HRQoL (p < 0.05).


This study represents the largest sample of adult morphea patients surveyed about their HRQoL in Europe. The frequent occurrence of embarrassment warrants an increased attention to improve patients’ mental health. Care must be taken in case of involvement of functionally sensitive areas, as these cases might require more intensive treatment.

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