Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Does light therapy improve the quality of life for people with acne?”

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of three peer-reviewed primary studies published between the years of 2016 and 2018. All articles were published in the English language and in peer-reviewed journals.

DATA SOURCES: One pilot study, one multicenter, randomized, split-face control study and one single-blind, randomized, split-face study evaluating if light therapy can improve the quality of life (QOL) of people with acne. Sources were selected from PubMed and Cochrane based off of the relevance to the clinical question and outcome being patient-oriented.

OUTCOME MEASURED: The outcome measured was the patient’s quality of life (QOL). This was measured in each trial by a questionnaire. These questionnaires include: Dermatological Life Quality Index (DLQI) self-assessment, Acne Quality of Life (QOL) Questionnaire, and Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI) self-assessment.

RESULTS: The study conducted by Antoniou et al.3 showed the comparison of CADI scores which indicated a decrease of 40% in the treatment hemifaces at six and 12 weeks that was significant. Also, the study by Grandi et al.5 showed significant improvement of DLQI over the entire treatment (p1 showed significant improvement in QOL at weeks three (p=0.05), five (p=0.03) and last follow up visit (p=0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The evidence presented in this review suggests that light therapy can improve the quality of life for patients diagnosed with acne. All three studies had significant results (Antoniou et al.3 , Grandi et al.5, and Thuangtong et al.1). However, due to the limitations of these studies, such as small sample size, the concept of light therapy improving the quality of life for patients with acne warrants further research.

Included in

Dermatology Commons