Burden of Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Systematic Literature Review of Patient Reported Outcomes

Alexa B. Kimball, Joslyn Kirby, John R. Ingram, Tanja Tran, Ingrid Pansar, Valerie Ciaravino, Damon Willems, Anne Mary Lewis-Mikhael, Vanita Tongbram, Amit Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) has a profound negative impact on patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Here we summarize the evidence on HRQoL and Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) in patients with HS in real-world settings by conducting a systematic literature review (SLR) of observational studies. Methods: Data sources included MEDLINE, Embase & PsycINFO between January 1, 2010 and August 29, 2021, and conference proceedings between 2019 and 2021. Identified abstracts were reviewed and screened independently by two reviewers. Eligibility criteria included patients with HS of any severity, sample size ≥ 100, reporting PROs including HRQoL measures. Included studies were critically appraised. Results: Fifty-eight observational studies matched inclusion criteria. Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) was the most commonly utilized instrument: 57% of included studies reported mean baseline DLQI scores, ranging between 8.4 and 16.9, indicating a very large impact on the patients’ HRQoL. Higher scores were reported with increasing disease severity and among female patients. Pain was assessed mostly by an 11-point (0–10) numeric rating scale (NRS) with a mean baseline score ranging from 3.6 to 7.7 indicating moderate to high pain levels. There was a negative impact of HS on patients’ psychological well-being, based on PRO scores related to depression and anxiety. A high proportion of sexual dysfunction was reported, with a larger impact on women than men. Work productivity and leisure activity were consistently found to be impaired in patients with HS. Conclusions: All included studies reported a negative impact of HS on patients’ lives. A diverse set of disease- and non-disease-specific PRO instruments were utilized highlighting the need for more consistent use of HS-specific validated PRO instruments to assess the impact of HS on the different aspects of patients’ HRQoL to allow for data to be more meaningfully interpreted and compared in real-world settings. Patients with HS need better disease management approaches that address the observed low quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalDermatology and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology

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