Content » Vol 99, Issue 6

Clinical Report

Emotional Ability and Skin-restricted Lupus Evolution: A Longitudinal Study

Isabelle Jalenques, Fabien Rondepierre, Aurélien Mulliez, Michel D'Incan, Silla M. Consoli and The LuPsy cohort investigators
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3161


Impaired emotional abilities (higher scores of alexithymia and lower levels of emotional awareness) were found in patients with skin-restricted lupus, warranting examination of the relationship between these abilities and the evolution of skin-restricted lupus, using longitudinal data. A total of 75 consecutive outpatients with skin-restricted lupus were recruited and assessed by a dermatologist and a psychiatrist every 6 months over a period of 2.5 years. Alexithymia and emotional awareness were evaluated with the French versions of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS). During follow-up, good stability of the LEAS scores was observed, whereas TAS-20 scores varied; those variations were positively associated both with lupus duration and current psychiatric and personality disorders, but not with lupus remission. Such findings regarding 2 complementary aspects of emotional functioning are of direct interest for the management of patients with skin-restricted lupus.


Patients with skin-restricted lupus (SRL) have impaired emotional abilities, i.e. higher alexithymia (inability to identify and describe emotions) and lower emotional awareness. This follow-up study investigated the relationship between emotional abilities and the evolution of SRL. The results showed no direct relationship between SRL remission and emotional abilities. Good stability of emotional awareness scores was observed, whereas alexithymia scores varied; these variations were positively associated both with duration of lupus and the presence of current psychiatric and personality disorders. Such findings are of direct interest for the management of patients with SRL.

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