Stress management for psoriasis patients: The effectiveness of biofeedback and relaxation techniques



Previous studies have found evidence of a connection between stress and the appearance of psoriasis symptoms. It was therefore hypothesized that stress management techniques such as biofeedback and relaxation could be effective in ameliorating the severity of the symptoms. Thirty-two psoriatics were randomly divided into three groups, one trained in biofeedback and relaxation techniques, one in relaxation alone and the third receiving no treatment. The subjects' condition was evaluated by a physician at the start and end of the 3-month study. Additionally, at the end of the study, the subjects were asked to assess the degree to which their symptoms had improved relative to the start of the study and relative to the same season of the previous year. The results indicated that, in comparison to the waiting list group, the biofeedback and relaxation group reported considerable improvement in their condition relative to the same season of the previous year. No significant differences were found between the groups regarding the degree of improvement relative to the start of the study. It is suggested that the fact that psoriasis is subject to seasonal variations may account for the differential findings.