Physical pain, difficulty walking, work-related complications, lowered self-esteem and negative impacts on sex lives are common complaints for people who suffer from fungal infections of the nail, or onychomycosis.
These physical, functional, psychosocial and emotional effects can greatly reduce the quality of life of sufferers.
Charles Darwin University Honours student Mia Le is exploring the impact of onychomycosis on sufferers’ mental and general health, social functioning, experience of pain and levels self-confidence. She is undertaking this through a survey and is calling on sufferers to take part.
“This study will evaluate the embarrassment and discomfort associated with onychomycosis to see if the condition affects patients’ quality of life,” Mia said.
The infection, which affects toenails in 80% of cases, causes an unsightly and contagious-looking nail plate. Although not a life-threatening condition, many important functional purposes of the nails may be severely compromised, she said.
About 10% of people in developed nations suffer from onychomycosis, and the disease is reported to be more prevalent in the elderly and appears to occur more frequently in males. Diabetics are also almost three times more likely to develop onychomycosis than non-diabetics.
The survey will collect demographic and relevant medical information from a sample of adults who have a history of active onychomycosis.
It will take less than 15 minutes to complete and can be conducted online or by telephone. Participation is voluntary and confidential.
For further information, contact Chief Researcher Mia Le on 0431 542 217 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The survey can be accessed online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/nailfungalinfection.
This study has been approved by the Faculty of Engineering, Health, Science and the Environment at CDU.