PHILADELPHIA — Data presented here indicated associations between anxiety symptoms and dermatological conditions.
“Anxiety disorders are common, yet often undiagnosed, in patients presenting to outpatient dermatology clinics,” Laura Dixon, PhD, of the University of Mississippi, and colleagues wrote. “Anxiety symptoms may contribute to a number of adverse outcomes in dermatology patients, such as the use of poor coping strategies, engagement in maladaptive behaviors, reduced quality of life, increased suicide risk and diminished social functioning. Despite alarming rates of co-occurrence and deleterious consequences of anxiety within this population, there is a paucity of research focused on specific anxiety symptoms and anxiety-related vulnerabilities associated with skin disease.”
To address research gaps, Dixon and colleagues had adults presenting to outpatient dermatology clinics complete self-report questionnaires on general anxiety, anxiety sensitivity and social anxiety symptoms. The study cohort included 115 patients with a mean age of 51.77 years.
Participants with psychodermatological conditions reported significant greater anxiety sensitivity and social anxiety symptoms compared with participants with nonpsychodermatological conditions (P < .05).
When controlling for age and sex, anxiety sensitivity social concerns were the only significant factor that differentiated categories of dermatological disease (OR = 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01-1.25).
“These findings contribute to an advancing area of research linking anxiety and physical health problems. The results highlight the importance of assessing anxiety symptoms in dermatology patients and suggest that adjunctive cognitive behavioral treatments could benefit these patients,” the researchers concluded. – by Amanda Oldt
Dixon L, et al. Anxiety symptoms in patients with dermatological conditions. Presented at: Anxiety and Depression Association of America Conference; March 31-April 3, 2016; Philadelphia.
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