July 18, 2019 MELASQOL Scale— Melasma Quality Of Life Scale
We’ve mentioned a scale called the MELASQOL while discussing a new type of melasma treatment and why to treat melasma. These questions come directly from the Melasma Quality of Life Scale, more commonly called the MELASQOL. Why do we ask questions from this scale? We’re glad you asked!
Why Do We Ask Questions From The MELASQOL?
Many scientific questionnaires are used to evaluate the impact of skin diseases on an individual’s quality of life. These questionnaires are what as known as ‘patient-reported outcomes’ (PROs). They are important because the patient’s self-assessment has become just as valuable as a professional’s assessment to judge the progression of a treatment over time.
The MELASQOL is a disease-specific patient-reported outcome questionnaire, meaning that this scale is used only for patients who have melasma. The MELASQOL was originally developed for use in a research setting. It has since been used in most clinical trials of melasma treatments because it is the most specific way to evaluate melasma’s impact on an individual’s quality of life.
The MELASQOL is also an effective tool for tracking melasma over time. At ClearifiRx, we give you the MELASQOL both before and after your treatment to gauge how effective your treatment has been.
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Why Measure Quality Of Life?
Measuring the effect of a skin condition on a person’s quality of life is important. A physician’s objective measurement of melasma severity may not coincide with a patient’s own experience and perception of their skin condition.
For example, a person who only has moderate melasma may rate him or herself as having a poor quality of life. On the other hand, a person with severe melasma who is not as affected in their day to day life may rate him or herself as having a normal or good quality of life.
Here at ClearifiRX, we value providing personalized treatments. We get to know our patients and how they feel about their skin condition. By measuring your quality of life, our physicians can better gauge how aggressively to tackle your melasma. These questions also help us track improvements over time since how patients feel is just as important as our clinicians’ periodic assessments.
What Are The Questions On The MELASQOL?
There are ten questions on the MELASQOL. All questions are rated on a scale from 1 ( not bothered at all) to 7 (bothered all the time):
- The appearance of your skin condition
- Frustration about your skin condition
- Embarrassment about your skin condition
- Feeling depressed about your skin condition
- The effects of your skin condition on your interactions with other people (e.g. Family, friends, close relationship, etc.)
- The effects of your skin condition on your desire to be with people
- Your skin condition making it hard to show affection
- Skin discolorations making you feel unattractive to others
- Skin discoloration making you feel less vital or productive
- Skin discoloration affecting your sense of freedom
- Balkrishnan R, McMichael AJ, Camacho FT, Saltzberg F, Housman TS, Grummer S, et al. Development and validation of a health-related quality of life instrument for women with melasma. Br J Dermatol. 2003;149(3):572–7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371668/
About the author
Dr. Lilit Garibyan is a board certified dermatologist specializing in medical, cosmetic, and laser dermatology. She is also a lecturer in dermatology at Harvard Medical School where she also conducts innovative and cutting-edge research in dermatology.