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An assessment of anxiety and dermatology life quality in patients with atopic dermatitis


Jakob Linnet Department of Psychology, William James Hall, 1120, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A. E-mail:


Anxiety is a prevalent psychological factor associated with atopic dermatitis (AD). AD patients generally suffer from a high anxiety level, and psychological treatment documents a positive effect on the anxiety level, as well as the course and management of the disease. The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) has been suggested as a relevant clinical measure in AD. This study investigated the relationship between the severity of AD, dermatological life quality and anxiety. Thirty-two adults suffering from AD were examined using the Severity Scoring of AD Index (SCORAD), the DLQI and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Index (STAI). Twenty-two healthy controls were examined using the DLQI and STAI. Results showed that the AD group had higher anxiety and lower dermatological life quality than the control group. In the AD group a significant positive correlation was found between SCORAD and DLQI and between DLQI and STAI. However, no correlation was found between SCORAD and STAI. The results suggest that: (i) both severity of eczema and anxiety are important for dermatological life quality; (ii) psychological inferences should not be made from the severity of eczema, but from the psychological measures, and vice versa; and (iii) both dermatological and psychological assessment is important in AD.

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