BACKGROUND: Inherited ichthyoses are rare disorders characterized by generalized skin scaling. Among them, autosomal recessive congenital ichthyoses (ARCI) form a major subgroup presenting lifelong and severely disabling cutaneous and extracutaneous features and symptoms for which no curative treatment is available. Management relies on daily time-consuming and distressing topical medications. Disease manifestations, symptoms, and daily care affect not only the patient self-perception, but also different dimensions of patient and family life. To date, there is only a French validated ichthyosis-specific questionnaire, "Family Burden in Ichthyosis" (FBI), for the evaluation of family disease burden. It addresses economical aspects, daily life, familial and personal relationships, work, and psychological impact. The aim of our study was to develop an Italian translation of the French FBI questionnaire and to pilot-test it in ARCI patients.
METHODS: The guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation of health-related quality of life measures were followed. Specifically, two independent forward translations were produced, followed by a reconciliation step by a multidisciplinary expert committee and back-translation. Revision of the original text and all translations was performed by the expert committee leading to a final version, which was pilot-tested by cognitive debriefing on 10 caregivers whose comments were evaluated by the committee.
RESULTS: The translation and reconciliation process led to minor changes in five items in order to clarify the questions in relation to the possible answers or to obtain semantic/idiomatic/cultural equivalence of the Italian version with the French one. The cognitive debriefing process resulted into further minor wording modifications in four items to describe more precisely the disease impact according to parents' comments. The FBI developer approved the final Italian FBI version.
CONCLUSIONS: The Italian version of the FBI generated in the present study is a useful instrument to measure the impact of ichthyosis on family daily life, education and working activities, psychological implications, and the disease economic load. The questionnaire will be further validated through a multicenter Italian study on burden of ARCI. A validated Italian questionnaire is a valuable tool for future clinical trials. In addition, it can be used to rapidly identify family distressing situations, which require attention and prompt intervention.