Quality of life impact and treatment response in vulval disease: Comparison of 3 common conditions using the Vulval Quality of Life Index

AbstractBackground/Objectives

To compare the quality of life in patients with vulval lichen sclerosus (VLS), vulval lichen planus (VLP) and chronic vulvovaginal candidiasis (CVVC), as measured by the Vulval Quality of Life Index (VQLI).

Methods

A retrospective, single-centre cohort study was conducted at a combined dermatology and gynaecology practice from March 2018 to November 2021. VQLI scores and patient data were systematically collected and recorded in an online patient database. Treatment regimens were individualised and titrated to clinical response.

Results

Over 3?years, a total of 200 women were recruited: 59 with CVVC, 79 with VLP and 62 with VLS. The median duration of follow-up for all patients was 45.43 (16.25–80.89) weeks. At baseline, the median (interquartile range [IQR]) VQLI score was 24.00 (19.00–31.00), 21.00 (12.00–26.00) and 14.00 (7.00–26.00) for CVVC, VLP and VLS, respectively. At follow-up, the median (IQR) VQLI score for CVVC, VLP and VLS was 9.00 (3.00–15.00), 9.00 (3.00–16.00) and 5.00 (2.00–10.00), respectively. All three groups showed a significant improvement in VQLI score (p?<?0.0001). At baseline, the highest scoring domains were ‘Sexual Function’ for CVVC and ‘Future Health Concerns’ for VLP and VLS. At follow-up, the highest scoring domains were ‘Sexual Function’ for CVVC and VLP, and ‘Future Health Concerns’ for VLS.

Conclusions and Relevance

Vulval disease has an immense impact on QOL, especially in patients with CVVC. The VQLI is useful to clinicians in identifying the unique impact of each vulval condition on a patient's QOL in order to provide better patient-focussed care.