Background Patients with alopecia areata (AA) report a broad range of psychosocial outcomes beyond those assessed in existing health-related quality of life measures. Yet, to date, no psychometrically validated scale based on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) appears to exist to comprehensively measure these AA-specific psychosocial outcomes. Objectives The objective of this study was to develop such a scale, the Scale of Alopecia Areata Distress (SAAD), and to provide its initial validation evidence. Methods Using existing qualitative research on PROs for patients with AA, a pool of 144 items was generated and subsequently reviewed for relevance, redundancy, clarity and comprehensiveness by subject matter experts in AA psychosocial impacts and the research team. This review resulted in a reduced pool of 122 items, which was then administered to adult patients with AA residing in the USA. Exploratory Factor Analysis using Principal Axis Factoring extraction with oblique rotation identified the SAAD’s underlying factor structure. To reduce the SAAD item length, additional item-reduction strategies were used. Results There were 392 participants who responded to the 122 items, each with four or fewer missing item responses. Three iterations of the data analysis plan resulted in a 41-item SAAD with seven underlying factors of psychosocial impact: Emotional and Cognitive Functioning, Romantic Relationships, Family Relationships, Primary Life Responsibilities, Non-Primary Life Responsibility Activities, Stigma, and Self-Perception Change. Each factor demonstrated acceptable to high levels of internal consistency reliability. Conclusions Initial validation evidence of the SAAD-41 scale supports its potential as a comprehensive measure of AA-related psychosocial distress for US-based adults. Further scale validation is needed.
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© The Author(s) 2023.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
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