RESEARCH – March 2018

Quality of life and emotional state in chronic skin disease, relationships with personality traits

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Background. Studies comparing psychological factors in different chronic dermatooses are rare. Comparisons are usually made with other common chronic diseases. There are very few studies where attention is paid to personality characteristics.

Purpose. The research aimed to study emotional state and quality of life in chronic inflammatory skin diseases and analyse associations between personality traits and quality of life.

Methods. Following self-rated questionnaires were used: Emotional State Questionnaire, which is a self-report scale to assess depression and anxiety symptoms; Swedish Universities Scales of Personality to assess personality traits (SSP); Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and a measure of health-related quality of life RAND-36.

The results show that chronic skin diseases were associated with emotional distress symptoms, especially insomnia and general anxiety. Compared to the control group patients with chronic skin diseases had lower DLQI and RAND-36 emotional well-being and higher energy/fatigue and pain. Personality characteristics predicting several aspects of quality of life, were somatic trait anxiety and embitterment.

Conclusions. Considering the higher level of depression, general anxiety and insomnia in patients with chronic skin diseases, it is essential to recognize these problems in everyday practice. This enables to start appropriate treatment, which contributes to better recovery and improvement of the quality of life.