To examine the level of psychological distress and factors contributing to distress in patients with morphea or eosinophilic fasciitis.
Dermatology outpatient clinic of a university hospital.
Of 120 patients with morphea or eosinophilic fasciitis diagnosed between December 1, 1994, and July 15, 2007, who were enrolled in the study, only 74 completed questionnaires were suitable for data analysis.
Main Outcome Measures
Self-reported responses on the Impact of Chronic Skin Diseases on Daily Life scale measure psychological distress, specifically anxiety and depressed mood.
Psychological functioning was generally impaired in patients with skin disease, particularly among patients with generalized morphea and eosinophilic fasciitis. Twenty-eight patients (38%) were at risk of depression or anxiety. Higher levels of psychological distress were significantly related to greater severity of skin disease; more pain and fatigue; impact of disease on daily life; more perceived stigmatization; illness cognitions of greater helplessness; and less acceptance and less perceived social support.
Physical and psychosocial aspects play a substantial role in the quality of life for patients with morphea. Physicians should be encouraged to assess the physical and psychosocial factors when treating patients with sclerotic skin diseases. This approach could improve quality of life and ultimately lead to improved dermatological treatment outcomes.