A Multi-Centered Case-Control Study of Vitiligo Support Groups and Quality of Life

Zoë I. Smith, Jason F. Wang, Nada Elbuluk, Richard H. Huggins, Mathew R. Birnbaum, Alexandra Rzepecki, Bhavnit K. Bhatia, Christina Kratschmer, Beth McLellan, Allison J.P. Kutner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: There is limited research on the association between vitiligo support group membership and patient quality of life (QoL). OBJECTIVES: To explore the association between support groups and QoL in those with vitiligo by evaluating and comparing the QoL of vitiligo support group members and non-support group members. METHODS: Support group members (n=135) and non-support group members (n=129) were recruited from the Global Vitiligo Foundation (GVF), and three academic medical centers respectively. Patients completed the Vitiligo-Specific Quality of Life (VitiQoL) instrument and a demographic survey. RESULTS: Mean VitiQoL scores for support group members were higher than non-support group members (48.6 ± 23.6 vs 33.0 ± 23.8; P-value < 0.0001), highlighting more negatively impacted QoL. Support group members were less likely to be undergoing treatment (27.4% vs 53.5%; P-value = <0.0001) and were more likely to report duration of vitiligo for >20 years (38.5% vs 19.4%; P-value = 0.0007). CONCLUSIONS: Vitiligo support group membership is associated with worse QoL. Individuals with vitiligo who have worse QoL, chronic, and/or untreated vitiligo may be more likely to seek out vitiligo support groups. Support group referral should be considered in the therapeutic management of vitiligo, particularly in patients whose QoL is more significantly impacted, who fail or are who are without access to treatment or have longstanding disease. J Drugs Dermatol. 2021;20(6):672-675. doi:10.36849/JDD.5706.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-675
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of drugs in dermatology : JDD
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A Multi-Centered Case-Control Study of Vitiligo Support Groups and Quality of Life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this