Forty Five Percent of Patients With Dermatological Disease Are Found to Suffer From Psychiatric Comorbidity

Selezionata da Pietro Cazzola, MD

Dermatological diseaseA total of 44.7% of patients with a dermatological diagnosis were found to suffer from a comorbid psychiatric illness in a descriptive, transverse, observational, single-center study. This outcome was reported at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, from March 4 to 8.
Linda García-Hidalgo, MD, of the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City, explained that few methodologically reliable studies have been performed on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in dermatological consultation, but the reported prevalence is approximately 30%.
Since many adults with dermatological diagnoses may present with chronic diseases that impact the development of psychopathology, it is important to estimate the magnitude of the problem. Such estimation will help promote a multidisciplinary intervention for patients suffering from both dermatological and psychiatric illness.
Timely identification of patients with psychiatric comorbidity and skin disease can help lead to better long-term treatment, avoid frequent relapses by promoting proper adherence to treatment, and improve the overall prognosis of patients with these disorders.
Dr. García-Hidalgo and colleagues set out to identify the most common psychiatric disorders in patients with skin disease in their outpatient clinic.
Over a 5-month period in 2014, liaison psychiatrists administered the Structured Clinical Interview of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4 to 114 patients attending the outpatient dermatology clinic.
Measured variables were demographics, (sex, age, marital status, education, and occupation); psychiatric diagnosis; dermatological diagnosis; and comorbidities.
Of the 114 patients, 37 (32.5%) were men and 77 (67.5%) were women. Men and women were of similar age (men, median of 40 years; women, median of 43 years). Forty eight percent of both men and women were married. Seventy three percent of men had attained a high educational level, vs 68% of women.
A total of 44.7% of patients did present psychiatric illness and 55.3% did not. Among the main psychiatric illnesses were major depressive disorder 23.7%; generalized anxiety disorder 15.8%; alcohol dependence 14.9%; alcohol abuse 7%; and specific phobia 5.3%.
A total of 54.4% suffered from psychodermatologic disorders. Of these, 21.9% suffered psychophysiologic disorders, 8.8% suffered psychiatric disorders with dermatologic symptoms, 54.4% suffered from dermatologic disorders with psychiatric symptoms; and 14.9% suffered from miscellaneous psychodermatologic disorders.
Dr. García-Hidalgo concluded that the prevalence of psychiatric illnesses in a dermatological patient population was shown to be significantly higher than the general Mexican population. The prevalence was significantly higher in women than men.