Patients’ illness perceptions and coping as predictors of functional status in psoriasis: a 1-year follow-up


M.Scharloo. E-mail:


In a longitudinal study (two measurements with a 1-year interval), 69 patients with psoriasis completed the Illness Perception Questionnaire, the Medical Outcomes Study SF-20 Health Survey, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Data on coping (Utrecht Coping List) and severity of illness (body surface scores) were also collected. The results of regression analyses indicated that a strong illness identity was associated with more visits to the outpatient clinic, and worse outcome on physical health, social functioning, mental health, health perceptions and depression. Strong beliefs that the disease is controllable/curable and that the disease has disabling consequences were also related to more clinic visits and more negative perceived health, respectively. Patients who initially engaged in coping characterized by more expression of emotions, seeking more social support, seeking more distraction, and less passive coping were prescribed a lower number of different therapies, were less anxious, less depressed, and had a better physical health 1 year later. These results have implications for the management of patients with psoriasis, which reinforces current views on integrating psychosocial aspects into clinical care.