Hospitalization for severe skin disease improves quality of life in the United Kingdom and the United States: A comparative study

R. Sowjanya Ayyalaraju, Andrew Y. Finlay, Peter J. Dykes, Jennifer T. Trent, Robert S. Kirsner, Francisco A. Kerdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Financial and managerial constraints have resulted in the rationalization of dermatology inpatient sex, in the United Kingdom and the United States. Therapeutic regimes may vary locally, regionally, and internationally but the clinical outcome of treatment remains the same. Objective: We studied 2 inpatient units: the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, United Kingdom, and the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, to compare the use and effectiveness of the service provided. Methods: Data were collected prospectively from inpatients during a 12-month period. The Dermatology Life Quality Index was administered on admission and after discharge. Data were recorded about the diagnosis, duration of admission, and referring dermatologist. Results: In all, 295 patients (Cardiff, UK) and 366 patients (Miami, Fla) participated. The average duration of admission in Miami was 6.7 days compared with 14.2 (P < .0001) in Cardiff. In Miami, the most common reasons necessitating admission were extensive disease (54%), the patient being unwell (18%), photophoresis (14%), outpatient treatment failure (8%), and acute deterioration of disease (4%). In Cardiff, the common reasons were acute deterioration (35%), extensive disease (28%), outpatient treatment failure (22%), and liver biopsy (4%). The most common diagnoses in Cardiff were psoriasis (31%) and eczema (26%). In contrast, the most common diagnoses in Miami, were psoriasis (19%), leg ulcers (17%), and mycosis fungoides (14%). The mean Dermatology Life Quality Index value for all patients decreased after admission in Cardiff (14.9-8.2, P <. 0001) and Miami (12.0-8.5, P < .0001). Conclusion: Despite the differences in the 2 health care systems, inpatient therapy remains an important and effective therapeutic option in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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