Dr. Samar Merhi, Senior Lab Instructor at the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences (FNHS) at Notre Dame University-Louaize’s (NDU) North Lebanon Campus (NLC), has published her article, “Facial Involvement is Reflective of Patients’ Global Perception of Vitiligo Extent,” alongside her co-authors in the British Journal of Dermatology, a Q1 scientific journal.
Vitiligo is a long-lasting autoimmune disease wherein patches of skin lose their pigment. Consequently, Merhi’s research aimed to analyze the extent to which vitiligo patients’ perception of their disease was influenced by the development of their facial discoloration. The cross-sectional study was conducted online in the framework of the Community of Patients for Research (ComPaRe) e-cohort, targeting adult patients with vitiligo. The patients answered the same self-reporting online questionnaire one year apart, in order to showcase the participants’ varying opinion regarding their condition. A total of 244 patients were included in the study.
The article concluded that “[p]atients’ perceptions of change in their vitiligo was increased sevenfold when it affected the face vs. the rest of the body.” Accordingly, Merhi et al. determined that there is a high correlation between the patients’ perception of their treatment and the development of their facial vitiligo.
The study’s results are crucial in helping dermatologists gauge their patients’ mental health and opting to redirect their attention to the amelioration of their bodily condition, rather than their facial vitiligo. The research has several positive implications in the betterment of patients’ health and self-esteem, highlighting Merhi’s dedication to the perpetual improvement of the medical field.