Patient outcome measure for vitiligo

Researchers in the UK have published a study validating a new patient-reported outcome measure for response to treatment in vitiligo

The Vitiligo Noticeability Scale (VNS) asks patients to rate how noticeable their vitiligo is after treatment. 

In this validity study, patients and clinicians examined image pairs depicting simulated vitiligo pre- and post-treatment. They rated them for ‘noticeability’ and treatment success, and clinicians also estimated percentage repigmentation of lesions. Agreement between the responses was then assessed.

VNS scores were associated with both patient- and clinician-reported treatment success (kappa = 0.54 and 0.47, respectively), while percentage repigmentation showed a weaker correlation (k = 0.39 and 0.29, respectively). 

The researchers conclude that the VNS is a more consistent indicator of treatment success than percentage repigmentation, and VNS scores of four or five (out of five) represent success. 

This study focused on ‘high-expression’ sites (face and hands), but the researchers suggest that further large studies could assess the VNS on a wider range of anatomical sites.  

Batchelor JM, Tan W, Tour S et al. Br J Dermatol 2016; 174: 386-94

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