Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an extremely common childhood disease, with considerable impact on the quality of life of affected children and their families. While pruritus is the hallmark symptom of this disease, AD has been well-documented to impact patients beyond physical symptoms, resulting in behavior problems, mood disorders, and sleep disturbance.
Objective: This literature review outlines how atopic dermatitis impacts the quality of life of families of children affected by AD.
Methods: A total of 3436 articles were identified via an online search of the MEDLINE health literature database and were screened for relevance to quality of life impacts on families with children affected by AD.
Results: Caring for children affected by AD can be an extremely time-consuming task that can impair personal relationships, decrease psychosocial functioning, and cause sleep loss among family members of affected patients. Additionally, AD may result in work absence or decreased work productivity for caregivers. Special diets, irritant and allergen avoidance strategies, and alternative therapies are commonly used by patients to manage their disease and require large amounts of family involvement.
Conclusions: Atopic dermatitis can greatly decrease quality of life of families of affected children in various domains, including sleep, finances, and relationships. Early intervention and psychotherapy may be needed in some patients to address these quality of life impairments.