Efficacy of Biofeedback and Cognitive-behavioural Therapy in Psoriatic Patients
A Single-blind, Randomized and Controlled Study with Added Narrow-band Ultraviolet B Therapy
Stefano Piaserico, Elena Marinello, Andrea Dessi, Michael Dennis Linder, Debora Coccarielli, Andrea Peserico
Increasing data suggests that there is a connection between stress and the appearance of psoriasis symptoms. We therefore performed a clinical trial enrolling 40 participants who were randomly allocated to either an 8-week cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) (treatment group) plus narrow-band UVB phototherapy or to an 8-week course of only narrow-band UVB phototherapy (control group). We evaluated the clinical severity of psoriasis (PASI), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12, Skindex-29 and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) at baseline and by the end of the study. Sixty-five percent of patients in the treatment group achieved PASI75 compared with 15% of standard UVB patients (p = 0.007). GHQ-12 cases were reduced from 45% to 10% in the treatment group and from 30% to 20% in the control group (p = 0.05). The Skindex-29 emotional domain showed a significant improvement in the CBT/biofeedback group compared with control patients (–2.8 points, p = 0.04). This study shows that an adjunctive 8-week intervention with CBT combined with biofeedback increases the beneficial effect of UVB therapy in the overall management of psoriasis, reduces the clinical severity of psoriasis, improving quality of life and decreases the number of minor psychiatric disorders.