Quality of life in patients with behcet's disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis
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Background and Design: Behçet’s disease (BD) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is a condition affecting oral health-related quality of life (QoL). In this study, we aimed to evaluate QoL of BD patients by using the Behçet’s disease quality of life instrument (BDQLI) and to compare the QoL of patients with BD with that of patients with RAS and healthy controls. Materials and Methods: Forty patients with BD and 40 patients with RAS and 40 healthy subjects with similar sociodemographic characteristics were included in the study. We used the BDQLI to evaluate QoL of patients with BD and the Dermatology-specific quality of life instrument for comparison of QqL between patients with BD and RAS. 36-Item Short Form Health Survey and clinical data form were applied in all participants. The results were analyzed statistically. The power of the study was 99%. Results: QoL of patients with BD were lower than that of healthy controls. It was observed that patients with BD had decreased physical functions, impaired perception of pain and poor general health (p<0.001, p=0.001, p=0.016, <0.001). Physical functions were decreased and perception of general heath was worse in patients with RAS compared to healthy controls (p=0.018, p=0.021). There was no difference in QoL between patients with BD and RAS (p>0.05). Female gender, relapse periods and mucocutaneous symptoms negatively affected QoL of patients with BD. Female gender and duration of the disease were found to be the main factors affecting QoL of patients with RAS. Conclusion: Unlike the results obtained with other instruments, with BDQLI, QoL, particularly in patients with active period and female gender was found to be decreased. In this study, there was a dominance of active mucocutaneous symptoms. This may explain the effect of mucocutaneous symptoms on QoL and the fact that there was no difference in QoL between BD and RAS patients. Further studies comparing QoL of patients with BD in whom visceral involvement is also observed with those with other diseases. QoL of BD patients may be improved by paying attention on symptoms that patients have trouble and by evaluating QoL with multidisciplinary approach during routine follow up.