Content » Vol 97, Issue 1

Clinical Report

Exploring the Psychological Profile of Patients with Delusional Infestation

Reena Shah, Ruth E. Taylor, Anthony Bewley
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2423


Delusional infestation (DI) is an uncommon psychiatric disorder in which patients present with the false and fixed belief (i.e. a delusion) that their skin and/or their environment is infested despite objective evidence to the contrary. Within psychodermatology specialist clinics there is a high rate of DI referrals. What is not known is the level of psychiatric and psychological co-morbidities associated with DI and whether psychiatric or psychological assessment would be warranted. One-hundred and thirty-eight adult patients with DI attending an outpatient psychodermatology clinic were given 3 standardised questionnaires. The results showed that 81% had a poor quality of life; 52% with anxiety, 41.6% with depression and 49% with appearance-related concerns. This study indicates high levels of psychiatric and psychological disorders in DI which require assessment and appropriate intervention.


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