Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research

Family burden in inherited ichthyosis: creation of a specific questionnaire

Hélène Dufresne1, Smail Hadj-Rabia12, Cécile Méni1, Vincent Sibaud3, Christine Bodemer12* and Charles Taïeb4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Dermatology, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Centre de Référence National pour les Maladies Génétiques à Expression Cutanée (MAGEC), APHP, Paris, France

2 Université Paris V-Descartes, Paris, France

3 Eau Thermale Avène, Lavaur, France

4 Public Health and Quality of Life, Pierre Fabre, Boulogne, France

For all author emails, please log on.

Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2013, 8:28  doi:10.1186/1750-1172-8-28

Published: 15 February 2013



The concept of individual burden, associated with disease, has been introduced recently to determine the “disability” caused by the pathology in the broadest sense of the word (psychological, social, economic, physical). Inherited ichthyosis belong to a large heterogeneous group of Mendelian Disorders of Cornification. Skin symptoms have a major impact on patients’ Quality of Life but little is known about the burden of the disease on the families of patients.


To develop and validate a specific burden questionnaire for the families of patients affected by ichthyosis.


Two steps were required. First, the creation of the questionnaire which followed a strict methodological process involving a multidisciplinary team and families. Secondarily, the validation of the questionnaire, including the assessment of its reliability, external validity, reproducibility and sensitivity, was carried out on a population of patients affected by autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis. A population of parents of patients affected by ichthyosis was enrolled to answer the new questionnaire in association with the Short Form Q12 questionnaire (SF-12) and a clinical severity score was filled for each patient.


Ninety four families were interviewed to construct the verbatim in order to create the questionnaire and a cognitive debriefing was realized. The concept of burden could be structured around five components: “economic”, “daily life”, “familial and personal relationship”, “work”, and “psychological impact”. As a result, “Family Burden Ichthyosis” (FBI) reproducible questionnaire of 25 items was created.

Forty two questionnaires were analyzable for psychometric validation. Reliability (Cronbach’s alpha coefficient = 0.89), reflected the good homogeneity of the questionnaire. The correlation between mental dimensions of the SF-12 and the FBI questionnaire was statistically significant which confirmed the external validity. The mean FBI score was 71.7 ± 18.8 and a significant difference in the FBI score was shown between two groups of severity underlining a good sensitivity of the questionnaire.


The internal and external validity of the “FBI” questionnaire was confirmed and it is correlated to the severity of ichtyosis. Ichthyoses, and other chronic pathologies, are difficult to assess by clinical or Quality of Life aspects alone as their impact can be multidimensional. “FBI” takes them all into consideration in order to explain every angle of the handicap generated.

Global burden disease; Quality of life; Ichthyosis; Burden questionnaire