For people with atopic eczema, there are important Quality of Life effects, on all the areas of life listed above. There are also important effects for significant others, in and outside the family. Assessment of these effects is important in understanding the behaviour associated with living with chronic atopic skin disease, and enables an important early review of the benefits of following The Combined Approach. This assessment needs to tackle the characteristic passive pessimism commonly found. Successful behavioural change is more likely if reasons for an active optimistic attitude are considered at the beginning.
Improvements in mood and sleep are common early experiences, together with increase in self-confidence and well-being, often within two weeks of treatment.
Gradually a greater repertoire of clothes will be possible - women may with delight abandon trousers in favour of skirts and dresses, reporting a refreshing "spring in my step" having returned. General social restrictions common with skin problems melt away: for example, swimming may be one of the first welcome new activities to become possible. From the most intimate to the most public level, positive effects are quickly achieved, reinforcing the behavioural changes that have been introduced.
At follow-up the difference between living with eczema and living without eczema is clear. Passive acceptance of chronic disability is replaced by an active and thorough approach to tackling of the condition. Months and perhaps years of misery are now replaced by only days of inconvenience. While eczema will still be an occasional problem, considerable stretches of life are now eczema free: the important goal of living without eczema becomes a reality.
Quality of Life effects are revelant in assessment, treatment and outcome
when using The Combined Approach for atopic eczema