Vitiligo affects mental health and quality of life

January 26, 2022

2 minutes read

Source/Disclosures

Published by:

Healio Psoriasis Disease

Source:

Bibeau K., et al. Poster. Mental health and psychosocial burden in vitiligo patients: results of the global VALIANT study. Presented on: Maui Derm for dermatologists; 24-28 January 2022; Maui, Hawaii.

Disclosure:
Bibeau states that he is an employee and shareholder of Incyte Corporation. The relevant financial information of all other authors can be found in the study.

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MAUI, HAWAII — Patients with vitiligo, particularly those with darker skin types, report adverse effects on their mental health and quality of life due to their disease, according to a poster presented at Maui Derm for dermatologists.

In the population-based Vitiligo and Life Impact Among International Communities (VALIANT) study, 3,541 patients with vitiligo (mean age 38 years; 54.6% males; 51.1% white) were asked to complete a 25-minute cross-sectional online survey Questions to be filled in Effects of disease on many aspects of life.

“This VALIANT study assessed patient well-being, but there are a number of important findings that may impact how clinicians manage their patients with vitiligo.” Kristen Bibeau, PhD, MSPH, Executive director and head of global epidemiology and real-world evidence statistics for Incyte Corporation, Healio said.

Kristen Bibeau

Almost half of those surveyed (46%) reported that treating their vitiligo on a daily basis was a burden on their lives, with 47.8% saying “life would be very different without vitiligo.”

Mental illnesses such as anxiety (28.8%) and depression (24.5%) were reported by 58.7% of those surveyed.

While only 24.5% of patients were diagnosed with depression, 55% had depressive symptoms as measured by responses to the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 Depression Screener.

“There is a gap between patients who reported having depression and those who reported symptoms consistent with depression but no diagnosis, and we found this to be a remarkable finding,” Bibeau said.

The average Vitiligo Impact Patient Scale Score, used to measure quality of life impact, was 27.3 globally, with patients in India reporting the highest impact at 40.2.

More than 30% of patients reported an impact on their emotional well-being, self-esteem, relationships or work life.

Vitiligo made 49% of participants feel less and more confident, with participants in India (71%) and South Africa (69%) having the highest rates.

In addition, 46.6% said others did not understand what it was like to live with vitiligo; 60.7% of those who agreed were from Africa or the Middle East.

When asked about the impact of the disease on their working life, 41.9% said they believed they would advance further in their careers if they did not have vitiligo.

“Patients reported dissatisfaction with current treatment options, withdrawal from social situations, and that Fitzpatrick skin type has an impact on the level of distress in the patient’s life,” said Bibeau. “The findings suggest that there may be an opportunity for physicians to become more aware of the symptoms associated with depression and how vitiligo affects their patients’ professional lives.”

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Maui Derm for dermatologists

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