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      Stigmatisation and body image impairment in dermatological patients: protocol for an observational multicentre study in 16 European countries

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          Patients with common skin diseases may have substantial psychosocial comorbidity and reduced quality of life. This study aims at exploring further the psychosocial burden of skin diseases by assessing stigmatisation and body image problems in a large sample of patients with skin disease across Europe.

          Methods and analysis

          The study is an observational cross-sectional multicentre study across 16 European countries comparing stigmatisation and body image in patients with skin disease compared with controls. Consecutive patients will be recruited in outpatient clinics and will complete validated questionnaires prior to clinical examination by a dermatologist at each recruitment site. In addition to sociodemographic background information, the outcomes will be: mood disorders assessed by short versions of the Patient Health Questionnaire and the General Anxiety Disorder Assessment; general health assessed by the EuroQol-Visual Analogue Scale; stigmatisation experience assessed by the Perceived Stigmatisation Questionnaire; stress assessed by the Perceived Stress Scale and body image assessed by the Dysmorphic Concern Questionnaire. The main criteria for eligibility are to be 18 years old or more. The analysis will include comparison between patients and controls for the main outcomes using t-tests, analyses of covariance and multivariate logistic regression models adjusting for potential confounding factors.

          Ethics and dissemination

          The study protocol is approved by the University of Giessen and by the local Ethical Committee in each recruitment centre. Informed consent will be given by each participant. The results of the study will be disseminated by publications in international peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences and general public conferences. Results will influence support intervention and management of patients with skin disease across Europe.

          Trial registration number

          DRKS00012745; Pre-results.

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          Most cited references 32

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          A Global Measure of Perceived Stress

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            The Global Burden of Cancer 2013.

            Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. Current estimates of cancer burden in individual countries and regions are necessary to inform local cancer control strategies.
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              Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 315 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE), 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

              Summary Background Healthy life expectancy (HALE) and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) provide summary measures of health across geographies and time that can inform assessments of epidemiological patterns and health system performance, help to prioritise investments in research and development, and monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aimed to provide updated HALE and DALYs for geographies worldwide and evaluate how disease burden changes with development. Methods We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015) for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost (YLLs) and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for each geography, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using the Sullivan method, which draws from age-specific death rates and YLDs per capita. We then assessed how observed levels of DALYs and HALE differed from expected trends calculated with the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator constructed from measures of income per capita, average years of schooling, and total fertility rate. Findings Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2015, with decreases in communicable, neonatal, maternal, and nutritional (Group 1) disease DALYs offset by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Much of this epidemiological transition was caused by changes in population growth and ageing, but it was accelerated by widespread improvements in SDI that also correlated strongly with the increasing importance of NCDs. Both total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most Group 1 causes significantly decreased by 2015, and although total burden climbed for the majority of NCDs, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined. Nonetheless, age-standardised DALY rates due to several high-burden NCDs (including osteoarthritis, drug use disorders, depression, diabetes, congenital birth defects, and skin, oral, and sense organ diseases) either increased or remained unchanged, leading to increases in their relative ranking in many geographies. From 2005 to 2015, HALE at birth increased by an average of 2·9 years (95% uncertainty interval 2·9–3·0) for men and 3·5 years (3·4–3·7) for women, while HALE at age 65 years improved by 0·85 years (0·78–0·92) and 1·2 years (1·1–1·3), respectively. Rising SDI was associated with consistently higher HALE and a somewhat smaller proportion of life spent with functional health loss; however, rising SDI was related to increases in total disability. Many countries and territories in central America and eastern sub-Saharan Africa had increasingly lower rates of disease burden than expected given their SDI. At the same time, a subset of geographies recorded a growing gap between observed and expected levels of DALYs, a trend driven mainly by rising burden due to war, interpersonal violence, and various NCDs. Interpretation Health is improving globally, but this means more populations are spending more time with functional health loss, an absolute expansion of morbidity. The proportion of life spent in ill health decreases somewhat with increasing SDI, a relative compression of morbidity, which supports continued efforts to elevate personal income, improve education, and limit fertility. Our analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework on which to benchmark geography-specific health performance and SDG progress. Country-specific drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform financial and research investments, prevention efforts, health policies, and health system improvement initiatives for all countries along the development continuum. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                22 December 2018
                : 8
                : 12
                [1 ] departmentDepartment of Dermatology and Venereology , Skåne University Hospital , Malmo, Sweden
                [2 ] National Centre for Dual Diagnosis, Innlandet Hospital Trust , Brumunddal, Norway
                [3 ] departmentDepartment of Dermatology , Barts Health NHS Trust , London, UK
                [4 ] departmentDepartment of Health, Medical and Neuropsychology , Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science , Leiden, The Netherlands
                [5 ] departmentDepartment of Dermatology , Justus Liebig University , Giessen, Germany
                [6 ] departmentClinical Epidemiology Unit , Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata , Rome, Italy
                [7 ] departmentCenter for Chronic Pruritus and Department of Dermatology , University Hospital Münster , Münster, Germany
                [8 ] departmentDepartment of Psychology , University of Zaragoza , Zaragoza, Spain
                [9 ] departmentDepartment of Psychiatry , Academic Medical Hospital , Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [10 ] Institute of Medical Psychology, Justus Liebig University , Giessen, Germany
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Florence J Dalgard; florikje@
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2018. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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                burden of disease, dermatological epidemiology, stigmatisation, body image


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