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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 81  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 270--274

Onychomycosis: A study of self-recognition by patients and quality of life

Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Charussri Leeyaphan
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, 2 Prannok Road, Bangkoknoi, Bangkok 10700
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Source of Support: This study is supported by Routine to Research Unit Management Fund (R2R), Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.154796

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Background: Onychomycosis accounts for approximately half of all nail disorders and is usually asymptomatic. Objectives: To evaluate patients' recognition of fungal nail disease, concomitant fungal skin diseases, complications, and quality of life. Methods: Patients from the fungal nail clinic were enrolled between May 2011 and April 2012. Patients' awareness of diseased nails was evaluated and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire was used to evaluate the impact of dermatologic disease on quality of life. Results: A total of 110 patients with onychomycosis were enrolled in the study, of which 64 (58.2%) were female and the mean age was  60.8 years. The number of patients who were able to recognize the presence of onychomycosis was 71 (64.5%), while 32 (29.1%) and 7 (6.4%) were diagnosed by a dermatologist and other physicians, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that patient recognition of the disease was significantly associated with female sex and young age. The mean DLQI score was  3.6. Limitation:   Patient recall bias including the duration of fungal nail infection, long-term past history and previous treatment was a limitation of this study that affected DLQI scores. Conclusion: About half of onychomycosis patients, especially elderly males, could not recognize the disease by themselves. It is important for physicians to educate patients with risk factors for onychomycosis to recognize this condition early to prevent concomitant infection and complications, and to improve patients' well-being.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow