Get access

Psychological distress and coping strategies in patients attending a dermatology outpatient clinic


  • Conflict of interest
    The authors declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest.

E. Mazzotti.


Background  Psychological distress is frequent among dermatological patients. The development of a positive attitude toward diagnosis and treatment is thought to be critical for successful coping and mental health outcomes.

Objective  The aim of this study was to assess the coping strategies and the psychological distress, due to anxiety and depression, in an unselected sample of dermatological patients.

Methods  Self-administered questionnaires (HADS, COPE) were given to 603 dermatological patients.

Results  Out of 567 participants, 149 (26.2%) scored positive for Anxiety, and 52 (9.2%) scored positive for Depression. Multivariate analysis, adjusting for gender, age, socio-economic status, and disease, showed that both Anxiety and Depression are associated with a less frequent use of Positive attitude coping.

Conclusion  Our results reinforce the notion that while planning the treatment of dermatological patients, evaluating their mental health might help to provide optimal treatment. Since coping ability was found to be important for mental health status, policy implications could include emphasis on social programs to assist individuals to manage stress, as well as psychological support.

Get access to the full text of this article