Quality of life in patients with scabies in Erbil, Iraq


  • Khalis Bilal Mohammed Ali Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Samir M. Othman Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Yassin Ahmad Asaad Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.




Quality of life, Scabies, Erbil, Iraq


Background and objective: Scabies, known as the seven-year itch, is a contagious skin infestation by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei that causes a pruritic skin eruption. Scabies is endemic in most of the communities of the developing world. This study aimed to assess the quality of life of scabies patients, taking into consideration the demographic profile and clinical presentation of patients in Erbil.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 107 scabies patients attending a private dermatology clinic were recruited. Dermatology Quality of Life Index questionnaire was used for data collection.

Results: More than half (51.4%) of the patients were less than 30 years of age, including 58.9% males, 70.1% of them were married, and 67.3% were living in the urban area. More than 84% of the study sample’s quality of life was very large and extremely large affected. The overall mean of the quality of life scores was 14.95±4.5 with no significant association between the overall quality of life scores to disease severity and certain sociodemographic characteristics of the patients. The mean scores of the two domains of embarrassment and shopping were significantly associated with the male gender (P = 0.003 and 0.021, respectively). However, 40.2%, 35.5%, and 29% of the patients reported that the disease affected very much on their shopping, clothing, and working activities, respectively.

Conclusion: The disease had caused a significant effect on patients' lives, with no significant association between the severity of the disease and overall quality of life scores. The disease in its mild, moderate, and severe forms adversely affected patient lives. The commonest quality of life scores were those in the range of 11-20.


Metrics Loading ...


Nair PA, Vora RV, Jivani, S NB, Gandhi HS. A study of clinical profile and quality of life in patients with scabies at a rural tertiary care centre. J Clan Diagn Res. 2016; 10 (10):WC01–5. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2016/20938.8703.

Kouotou EA, Nansseu JR, Kouawa MK, Bissek AZ. Prevalence and drivers of human scabies among children and adolescents living and studying in Cameroonian boarding schools. Parasit Vectors. 2016; 9:2–6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1690-3.

Karimkhani CH, Colombara DV, Drucker AM, Norton SA, Hay R, Engelman D, et al. Theglobal burden of scabies: a cross-sectional analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017; 17:1247–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30483-8.

Bhat SA, Mounsey KE, Liu X, Walton SF. Host immune responses to the itch mite, Sarcoptesscabiei, in humans. Parasit Vectors. 2017; 10(1):385. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2320-4.

Alsamarai AM. Frequency of scabies in Iraq: Survey in a dermatology clinic. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2009; 3(10):783–9. https://doi.org/10.3855/jidc.144.

Dressler C, Rosumeck S, Sunderkötter C, Werner RN, Nast A. The treatment of scabies: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2016; 113:757–62. https://doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.2016.0757.

Alsamarai AM, Alobaidi AH. Scabies in displaced families: Health care problem that need urgent action. Our Dermatol Online. 2017; 8(3):250–4.

Aiempanakit K. Crusted scabies in a patient with methamphetamine abuse. JAAD Case Rep. 2018; 4(5):480–1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdcr.2018.01.008.

Romani L, Steer AC, Whitfeld MJ, Kaldor JM. Prevalence of scabies and impetigo worldwide: a systematic review. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015; 15(8):960–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00132-2.

Sara J, Haji Y, Gebretsadik A. Scabies outbreak investigation and risk factors in East Badewacho District, Southern Ethiopia: Unmatched Case Control Study. Dermatol Res Pract. 2018; 2018:1–10.https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7276938.

Worth C, Heukelbach J, Fengler G, Walter B. Acute morbidity associated with scabies and other ectoprasitoses rapidly improves after treatment with ivermectin. Pediatr Dermatol. 2011; 29;29(4):430–6. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1470.2011.01680.x.

Wang H, Yosipovitch G. New insights into the pathophysiology and treatment of chronic itch in patients with end-stage renal disease, chronic liver disease and lymphoma. Int J Dermatol. 2010; 49(1):1–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04249.x.

Ghafoor R, Saleem F, Iqbal Q, Hassali MA, Hashmi FK, Haider S, et al. Quality of life in patients with skin diseases attending a public healthcare institute of Quetta city. J Pak Pharm Prac Community Med. 2018; 4(1):16–20. https://doi.org/10.5530/jppcm.2018.1.5.

Bouvresse S, Chosidow O. Scabies in healthcare settings. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2010; 23(2):111–8. https://doi.org/10.1097/QCO.0b013e328336821b.

Jin-gang A, Sheng-xiang X, Sheng-bin X, Jun-min W, Song-mei G, Ying-ying D, et al. Quality of life of patients with scabies. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010; 24:1187–91. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03618.x.

Hahn HB, Melfi CA, Chuang TY, Lewis CW, Gonin R, Hanna MP, et al. Use of the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) in a Midwestern urban clinic. JAAD. 2001; 45(1):44–8. https://doi.org/10.1067/mjd.2001.110880.

Hamm H, Beiteke U, Höger P, Seitz C, Thaci D, Sunderkötter C. Treatment of scabies with 5 % permethrin cream: results of a German multicenter study. JDDG. 2006; 4:407–13. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1610-0387.2006.05941.x.

Engelman D, Steer AC. Control strategies for scabies. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2018; 3(98):1–11. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3030098.

Wootton CI, Bell S, Philavanh A, Phommachack K, Soukavong M, Kidoikhammouan S. Assessing skin disease and associated health-related quality of life in a rural Lao community. BMC Dermatol. 2018; 18(11):2–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12895-018-0079-8.

Romani L, Koroivueta J, Steer AC, Kama M, Kaldor JM, Wand H, et al. Scabies and impetigo prevalence and risk factors in Fiji: A national survey. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015; 9(3):e0003452. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003452.

Hegab DS, Karo AM, Kabbash IA, Dabish GM. Scabies among primary schoolchildren in Egypt: sociomedical environmental study in Kafr El-Sheikh administrative area. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8:105–11. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S78287.

Worth C, Heukelbach J, Fengler G, Walter B, Liesenfeld O, Feldmeier H. Impaired quality of life in adults and children with scabies from an impoverished community in Brazil. Int J Dermatol. 2012; 51(3):275–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05017.x.

Feldmeier H, Jackson A, Ariza L, Calheiros CM, SoaresVde L, Oliveira FA, et al. The epidemiology of scabies in an impoverished community in rural Brazil: presence and severity of disease are associated with poor living conditions and illiteracy. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009; 60(3):436–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2008.11.005.

Mero WM, Hassan HK. Incidence of human scabies in Duhok province, Kurdistan region/ Iraq. J University Zakho. 2014; 2(2):285–92.

Sambo MN, Idris SH, Umar AA, Olorukooba AA. Prevalence of scabies among school-aged children in Katanga rural community in Kaduna state, Northwestern Nigeria. Ann Nigerian Med. 2012; 6:26–9.

Al- Musawi MM, Maluki A, Rasool H. Prevalence of scabies among patients attending the Dermatology outpatient clinic in Najaf governorate, Iraq. J Adv Med Res. 2013; 3(4): 63–70.

Korycińska J, Dzika E, Kloch M. Epidemiology of scabies in relation to socioeconomic and selected climatic factors in north-east Poland. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2019; 26(4):512–22. https://doi.org/10.26444/aaem/109319.

Shahbaz H, Shabbir S, Maryam J, Amir S, Humayun A. Quality of life in patients with skin diseases on exposed Parts -A study in two teaching hospitals of Lahore. Proceeding SZPGMI. 2017; 31(2):103–10.




How to Cite

Mohammed Ali, K. B., Othman, S. M., & Asaad, Y. A. (2021). Quality of life in patients with scabies in Erbil, Iraq. Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci), 25(3), 638–648. https://doi.org/10.15218/zjms.2021.030



Original Articles