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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Dermatology 1/2015

Subjective stress reactivity in psoriasis – a cross sectional study of associated psychological traits

Zeitschrift:
BMC Dermatology > Ausgabe 1/2015
Autoren:
Charlotta Remröd, Karin Sjöström, Åke Svensson
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

CR participated in the design of the study, met each patient and carried out the psychococial interviews, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, performed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. KS participated in the design of the study, analysis and interpretation of data and have been involved in drafting the manuscript. ÅS participated in the design of the study, analysis and interpretation of data and have been involved in drafting the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

KS is a senior psychiatrist with many years of experience within the field of psychosomatics, both in clinical practice and research.

Abstract

Background

Stress or psychological distress is often described as a causative or maintaining factor in psoriasis. Psychological traits may influence the appraisal, interpretation and coping ability regarding stressful situations. Detailed investigations of psychological traits in relation to stress reactivity in psoriasis are rare. The aim of this study was to examine whether patients with psoriasis who report an association between psychological distress and exacerbation, “stress reactors” (SRs), differ psychologically from those with no stress reactivity “non-stress reactors” (NSRs).

Methods

This cross-sectional study was conducted among 101 consecutively recruited outpatients with plaque psoriasis. A psychosocial interview was performed including questions concerning stress reactivity in relation to onset and exacerbation. Three validated self-rating scales were used: Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI, Form-Y), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and Swedish Universities Scales of Personality (SSP). Independent samples t-tests, Chi-square tests and one-way ANOVA analyses were used for group comparisons when appropriate. A logistic regression model was designed with SR as the dependent variable.

Results

Sixty-four patients (63%) reported a subjective association between disease exacerbation and stress (SRs). Patients defined as SRs reported significantly higher mean scores regarding state and trait anxiety, depression, and also five SSP scale personality traits, i.e. somatic trait anxiety, psychic trait anxiety, stress susceptibility, lack of assertiveness and mistrust, compared with NSRs. In multivariate analysis, SSP-stress susceptibility was the strongest explanatory variable for SR, i.e. OR (95% CI) = 1.13 (1.02 – 1.24), p = 0.018.

Conclusion

According to our results, patients who perceive stress as a causal factor in their psoriasis might have a more vulnerable psychological constitution. This finding suggests important opportunities for clinicians to identify patients who may benefit from additional psychological exploration and support.
Literatur
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