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AAD: New Instrument Can Help Quantify Pruritus

While existing instruments characterize itching, new one quantifies its severity

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- While questionnaires already in use can characterize pruritus, a new instrument may help quantify its severity, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology's Academy '06 meeting in San Diego.

"Its aim is to be used in any itching population," said Candace Majeski, M.Sc., who developed the instrument at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

With permission, Majeski took a questionnaire developed by Yosipovitch and colleagues and modified it to be in self-report format. She also used two other established instruments, the RAND-36 and the Dermatology Life Quality Index, administering it to 93 patients with itching associated with their chronic plaque psoriasis.

She did statistical analysis to determine which questions are associated with severity for her scale. The end result is her Itch Severity Scale, or ISS, which includes questions on frequency of pruritus, intensity, body surface area involved, a description of the sensation and its effect on sleep, mood, sexual desire and function.

Majeski will continue to test the questionnaire, which she said could be used now with its acknowledged limited evidence of its validity.

Abstract (P1000)

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