Health-related quality of life issues in patients with cutaneous malignancies is being re-explored. This is motivated by the heavy burden they put on dermatological care, it is more and more considered a chronic disease and new non-invasive therapies are being introduced. The purpose of this review is to identify the relevant quality of life (QOL) issues and to summarize the instruments used for investigating QOL in keratinocyte carcinoma patients. With a systematic literature search in Embase, MEDLINE OvidSP, PubMed publisher and Cochrane Central, 10 questionnaires and 4 studies reporting on quality of life issues were identified. Generic (UK Sickness Impact profile [UKSIP], Short Form 36-item Health Survey [SF-36], Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General [FACT-G]) and dermatology specific (Dermatology Life Quality Index [DLQI] and Skindex-29, -16, -17) instruments demonstrated little to no QOL impairment. This may be explained by failing to capture the relevant domains such as "emotions", "appearance" and "anxiety". Skin cancer specific questionnaires (Skin Cancer Index [SCI], Skin Cancer Quality of Life Impact Tool [SCQOLIT] and Actinic Keratosis Quality of Life [AKQoL]) demonstrated good validity and responsiveness and represent the effect on QOL properly. However, there are some points of critique to these questionnaires. Optimal management of patients with actinic neoplasia syndrome and the selection and evaluation of therapies may benefit from the use of PROs in this ever increasing population.

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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia
Department of Dermatology

Waalboer-Spuij, R., & Nijsten, T. (2013). A review on quality of life in keratinocyte carcinoma patients. Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia (Vol. 148, pp. 249–254). Retrieved from