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High stress scores seen in patients with inflammatory skin diseases

New research from France has shown that about two-thirds of patients with chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as adult acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis report high rates on stress scores and quality of life measurements on the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). Fewer than 15% of the participants reported they had been offered any psychological support to deal with this stress.

Published as a letter to the editor in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the study led by Laurent Misery, MD, PhD from the University of Brest included a total of 7,273 participants: 1,605 with adult acne; 2,538 with atopic dermatitis; 2,329 with psoriasis; and 801 with hidradenitis suppurativa. The participants completed a questionnaire that was distributed through patient associations and social media. All participants were confirmed by a healthcare professional to have one of the four conditions, and most of the respondents were female, although no gender breakdown was provided.

The researchers reported stress scores greater than 27 in 66.3% of the study participants who had adult acne, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. The more severe disease correlated with their perceived stress scores. Also, their DLQI score was significantly higher and QoL was more affected when their stress scores were higher than 27.

However, the same determination was not true for patients with hidradenitis suppurativa. The authors did not explain this finding.

In the study, the authors reported that “In patients with chronic inflammatory skin diseases, psychological stress is an important issue, requiring specific attention and personalized psychological support.”


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