A measurement of the stigma among vitiligo and psoriasis patients in India.
BACKGROUND AND AIM: The aim is to measure and to compare the level of social participation experienced by vitiligo and psoriasis patients in their domestic and social life in an Indian context.
METHODS: A cross-sectional comparative study with a sample of 150 cases each of psoriasis and vitiligo, a total of 300 subjects. A detailed clinical assessment of these two conditions, including the extent of lesions on the affected body parts, socioeconomic status and participation levels in social and domestic lives, was done.
RESULTS: The result showed that, 17.3% of vitiligo patients participated minimally in domestic and social life, whereas 28% of psoriasis patients had this problem (P=0.027). Extreme participation restriction was observed only among psoriasis patients (2.7%). Psoriasis patients also faced significantly more restrictions in a number of day-to-day life situations such as, less confidence in learning and applying knowledge, difficulties in meaningfully participating in major life areas like, work, education and employment, and also in community, social and civic life (all three domains P<0.0001), to vitiligo patients.
CONCLUSION: Both psoriasis and vitiligo patients suffered moderate to severe restriction while participating in their domestic and social life. Of these two groups, psoriasis patients faced significantly more restrictions in a number of day-to-day life situations. The Indian population of this study was predominantly dark-skinned and hypo-pigmentation as seen in vitiligo is much more noticeable than psoriatic red patches. However, the results showed that the component of hypo or hyperpigmentation of the skin is not the only factor leading to participation restrictions.