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The skin cancer index: clinical responsiveness and predictors of quality of life. Laryngoscope 2007 Mar;117(3):399-405



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OBJECTIVE: To establish the clinical responsiveness of the Skin Cancer Index (SCI), a new disease-specific quality of life (QOL) instrument, and to assess demographic and clinical factors which impact QOL in patients with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study of 183 patients with NMSC of the face and neck referred to a tertiary care Mohs surgery clinic.

METHODS: The SCI is a 15 item, validated, disease-specific QOL instrument with 3 distinct subscales, Emotion, Social, and Appearance. Higher scores reflect better QOL. The SCI and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), a general dermatology instrument, was administered at initial consultation and 4 months after surgical treatment. Multivariate analysis was conducted to assess demographic and clinical factors predictive of QOL for both instruments.

RESULTS: The SCI total score and all three subscale scores increased with treatment, demonstrating strong evidence of responsiveness over time (P < .001) in contrast with the DLQI (P = .46). Predictors of poorer QOL for the SCI included female sex and cancers located on the lip. Patients who demonstrated greatest improvement in QOL with treatment included those who were younger (<50 yr) and had lower reported household income. Also, first time NMSC patients and those patients who underwent less extensive reconstructions demonstrated greater improvements in QOL.

CONCLUSION: The SCI is a sensitive and responsive QOL instrument for patients with NMSC. Distinct demographic and clinical variables that impact QOL have been demonstrated using this multidimensional, disease-specific instrument.

Author List

Rhee JS, Matthews BA, Neuburg M, Logan BR, Burzynski M, Nattinger AB


Brent R. Logan PhD Director, Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Ann B. Nattinger MD, MPH Associate Provost, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
John S. Rhee MD Chair, Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Age Factors
Follow-Up Studies
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Middle Aged
Prospective Studies
Quality of Life
Sex Factors
Skin Neoplasms
jenkins-FCD Prod-478 d1509cf07a111124a2d122fd3df854cc0b993c00