Bibeau K, Harris JE, Hamzavi IH, Lindley A, LaFiura C, and Ezzedine K. 34631 Do patients with vitiligo and health care professionals treating them recognize the burden in living with the disease in the United States? Findings from the VALIANT study. J Am Acad Dermatol 2022; 87(3):AB159.
J Am Acad Dermatol
Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of melanocytes, resulting in pale or white patches of skin. The population-based Vitiligo and Life Impact Among International Communities (VALIANT) study sought to understand the impact and burden of vitiligo on quality of life (QoL) from the patient and physician perspective from around the world. The VALIANT study recruited adult participants (aged ≥18 years who self-reported a vitiligo diagnosis) via an online panel. Participants were asked questions regarding their mental health, psychosocial burden, and behavior in professional and social situations. Separately, health care professionals (HCPs; physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants) who treat patients with vitiligo completed an online-based questionnaire. In the United States, 608 patients and 250 HCPs (166 dermatologists and 84 primary care providers) participated in the survey. Confidence in the ability to improve QoL and long-term psychological outcomes of their patients with vitiligo was noted in 67% and 58% of HCPs, respectively. HCPs and patients were asked the same questions regarding avoidance/impact behaviors; concordance was achieved on items such as wearing certain clothing to cover vitiligo lesions and avoiding going to beach/pool/social events. However, HCPs often underestimated the impact of vitiligo compared with the patient’s perspective in other areas, such as making career choices (33% vs 51%), managing other medical diseases (25% vs 49%), and obtaining other preventive care (20% vs 49%). In summary, increased understanding between HCPs and patients with vitiligo regarding a holistic understanding of the psychological burden and mental health of patients is needed.