Patient-reported quality of life in patients suffering from acute herpes zoster—a systematic review with meta-analysis

Martin Sollie*, Pernille Jepsen, Jens A. Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: Herpes Zoster (HZ) is a common painful, debilitating condition caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. It is characterized by a painful skin eruption which is very complex to treat. Studies have reported that HZ negatively affects Quality of Life (QoL), but no large systematic review on this topic has been published to date. This systematic review aims to summarize the current data on patient-reported QoL amongst patients diagnosed with HZ. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. The primary outcome was the change in percent impairment of QoL compared to normative data. Secondary outcomes were meta-analyses comparing reported QoL to a control group or normative data. Results: We assessed a total of 536 studies for inclusion. Thirteen studies were included in the systematic review and five studies in the meta-analyses. The total number of patients was 5472. Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis found lower reported QoL amongst patients diagnosed with acute herpes zoster compared to normative values. Our data show that acute herpes zoster significantly reduces the quality of life of the patients affected. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pain
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27. Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • herpes zoster
  • quality of life
  • shingles
  • varicella-zoster virus


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