Knowledge, Perceptions and Psychosocial Impact of Acne Vulgaris: An Indian Scenario WC01-WC06
Dr. Priti Dhande,
9, Natasha Society, D.P. Road, Aundh, Pune-411007, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease of pilosebaceous unit characterised by areas of seborrhoea, comedones, papules, nodules, pimples, and possibly scarring that may remain for rest of the life. Acne is a treatable disease but needs prolonged treatment with patience and its onset in adolescence has been found to influence the patient physically, socially, economically as well as psychologically. This can seriously affect their quality of life.
Aim: To determine patients’ knowledge and perception about acne vulgaris and analyse the association of patient characteristics with the impact of acne on their psychosocial life.
Materials and Methods: A total of 183 subjects of acne vulgaris of either gender, visiting Dermatology OPD and willing to participate in the study were asked to fill in a pre-tested, pre-validated questionnaire consisting 20 items- 6 based on general information about their condition, 5 based on knowledge about acne and 9 questions on perception about their condition and its treatment. A total of >4 questions about knowledge correctly answered was considered as good knowledge and <4 correctly answered as poor knowledge. Data were analysed by using chi-square test.
Results: Study participants had inappropriate knowledge about the causes or predisposing factors of acne as well as about the treatment options for this condition. Social advertising media was seen to be influencing their beliefs and decisions regarding the same but was unable to provide complete and correct information which was a significant finding (p<0.001). <57% of study participants believed that the disease had a moderate to severe impact on their self-image and this was found to be statistically significant (p<0.001). There was a statistically significant association (p=0.002) between the study subjects who had poor information about the causes of acne vulgaris and the impact (moderate to severe) this disease had on their psychosocial life-meaning impact on self-image, relationship with friends and family and impact on work or school performance. Results were interpreted based on direct analysis of study questionnaire without using any scoring system.
Conclusion: Study subjects lacked correct knowledge about acne and its treatment where advertising media was the most influential but incomplete source of information found. Acne had a significant impact on their psychosocial life, specially self-image.