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Previous QOL and disease burden studies have not captured all relevant aspects of living with alopecia areata (AA). To better understand the burden and everyday experience of living with moderate-to-severe AA, a cross-sectional, online, quantitative-qualitative survey was developed to assess symptoms, relationships, productivity, treatments, and financial burden. Adult patients were recruited from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation database. Data were analyzed descriptively. A total of 216 patients completed the survey. Most were female (83%), aged =45 years (59%), and white (78%). Nearly 2 of 3 respondents (62%) made different major life decisions (regarding relationships, education, or career) owing to AA. Most respondents (85%) stated coping with AA as a daily challenge, citing mental health issues, concealing hair loss, and others' reactions; 47% reported anxiety and/or depression. Many patients (75%) persistently concealed hair loss (mean time spent, 10.3 h/wk). Treatment discontinuation was common owing to lack of efficacy, side effects, and cost. Associated expenditures included buying wigs or hairpieces and psychotherapy (mean $2,000/y each). Survey respondents comprised a self-selected sample, which may not reflect the entire population. The impact of AA extends beyond cosmetic concerns and carries a considerable psychosocial burden. Efficacious, less burdensome AA treatments are needed to regrow hair and alleviate psychosocial sequelae.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jisp.2020.05.007
View details for PubMedID 33099390