“Not relevant” responses (NRRs) on the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) are common among adults with psoriasis and may be associated with underestimation of disease burden. Little is known about “not relevant” responses among adults with atopic dermatitis. We aimed to examine the frequency of NRRs on the DLQI and to determine whether NRRs are associated with underestimation of disease burden among adults with atopic dermatitis.
Adults with atopic dermatitis were identified and evaluated via online survey. We evaluated the frequency of NRRs on the DLQI, stratified by sociodemographic characteristics. To examine the association between NRRs and other measures of disease burden, Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), Patient-Oriented SCORAD (PO-SCORAD), and Short-Form (SF)-12 scores were compared between those who responded “not relevant” versus “not at all”.
Among 764 adults with atopic dermatitis, most had mild disease. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) POEM, PO-SCORAD, and DLQI scores were 5 (2–10), 24 (14–34), and 2 (1–6), respectively. Most (55.2%) also had at least one NRR, and 17.9% had 4 or more “not relevant” responses, with differences across several sociodemographic characteristics. There were no substantial differences in SF-12, POEM, and PO-SCORAD scores between those who responded “not relevant” versus “not at all”.
NRRs on the DLQI are common among adults with atopic dermatitis and differ across sociodemographic characteristics, suggesting issues with content validity. There is not a clear association between NRRs and other measures of disease severity among adults with mostly mild atopic dermatitis.