Wyrwich KW, Winnette R, Bender R, Gandhi K, Williams N, Harris N, Nelson L. Validation of the alopecia areata patient priority outcomes (AAPPO) questionnaire in adults and adolescents with alopecia areata. Dermatol Ther. 2022 Jan;12(1):149-66. doi: 10.1007/s13555-021-00648-z

INTRODUCTION: Individuals with alopecia areata (AA) may experience significant impacts on their health-related quality of life. The novel Alopecia Areata Patient Priority Outcomes (AAPPO) questionnaire has been developed to assess hair loss signs, emotional symptoms, and activity limitations associated with AA. The objective of this study was to evaluate psychometric properties and establish scoring of the AAPPO in adults and adolescents with AA.

METHODS: Scoring and measurement properties of the AAPPO were examined using baseline and 2-week follow-up data from a prospective, noninterventional, web-based study of 121 patients with AA (85 adults aged ≥ 18 years, 36 adolescents aged 12-17 years) with Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) ≥ 25% scalp hair loss.

RESULTS: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis supported four single Hair Loss (HL) items, an Emotional Symptoms domain (ES; 4 items), and an Activity Limitations domain (AL; 3 items). Among all patients, the multi-item ES and AL domains had strong internal consistency (α ≥ 0.87); all HL items and domain scores had strong test-retest reliability (weighted kappa or intraclass correlation coefficients ≥ 0.78). All HL item scores demonstrated strong construct validity (r ≥ 0.52) compared with the patient-reported Alopecia Areata Symptom and Impact Scale (AASIS) hair loss subscale score; ES and AL domain scores exhibited strong construct validity (r ≥ 0.66) compared with the SF-36 Mental Component Summary (MCS) score. Using SALT scores, HL mean item scores were better (lower) in the 25-49% SALT subgroup versus those with highest SALT scores (76-100%); however, ES mean domain scores were better in the SALT 76-100% subgroup in the same comparison (p < 0.0001). Using AASIS and MCS score-created subgroups, ES and AL mean domain scores demonstrated hypothesized differences across subgroups (all p values < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: The AAPPO questionnaire is a reliable, valid disease-specific measure of hair loss severity and impact in individuals with AA.

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