Are Common Skin Diseases among Norwegian Dermatological Outpatients Associated with Psychological Problems Compared with Controls? An Observational Study
Flora Balieva, Lars Lien, Jörg Kupfer, Jon Anders Halvorsen, Florence Dalgard
Dermatological disease has been shown to be associated with psychological comorbidity. The aim of this observational study is to describe the distribution of skin disease and the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress among Norwegian dermatological outpatients. Thirteen percent of outpatients had clinical anxiety compared with 3.7% of healthy controls, and 5.8% had clinical depression compared with 0.9% of controls. Adjusted odds ratio for clinical anxiety was 4.53 in patients compared with controls, and for clinical depression 6.25, which is much higher than previously described in a larger European study. Patients with tumours had less depression. Chronic inflammatory skin conditions had an especially high impact on patient’s psychological wellbeing and should not be undervalued relative to, for instance, skin cancer in health strategies. These results argue strongly for including skin disease prevention and treatment in future health strategies.