Significance of the Stigmatization Experience of Psoriasis Patients: A 1-Year Follow-up of the Illness and its Psychosocial Consequences in Men and Women
Feelings of stigmatization are an important somatopsychic consequence of psoriasis, affecting the quality of life. It is thus relevant to supplement reliable statements about the detailed changes of stigmatization experience and psoriasis over time. In this study we compared the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI), the 'self-administered PASI' (SPASI) and the 'Questionnaire on Experience with Skin Complaints' of 166 psoriasis patients (64 women, 102 men) in a 1-year follow-up to assess the relation between these factors over time. The results suggest a more pronounced feeling of discrimination in women with no significant somatic differences between gender at the first measurement. In a prospective evaluation we found a clear proportion of 'discordant' courses of these parameters, mainly in women, indicating a contradictory relation of somatic improvement or deterioration vs subjective experience with skin complaints. All in all, these results show a moderate but significant relevance of skin state for feeling of stigmatization over time only in men, thus suggesting a considerable influence of other psychic variables, probably coping skills, especially in women.