Psychological Impacts of Skin Diseases in Comparison to Chronic Diseases
Background: Suffering from skin diseases is more than a cosmetic nuisance. Patients with chronic skin diseases often experience significant psychological and social distress and fear of stigma. The aim of this study was to determine the psychological impact (depression, anxiety and stress) of skin diseases in comparison to chronic diseases among patients at an academic tertiary healthcare centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross sectional study involving 125 patients with chronic skin-related disorders recruited from the dermatology clinic at King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH) and 100 patients with non-skin-related chronic disease were recruited from the medical, surgical and day care clinics at KAUH using the self-administered Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) Arabic questionnaire. Results: There was no significant difference in the level of depression, anxiety and stress in the group of subjects with skin diseases in comparison to the group with chronic diseases. However, subjects who have chronic disease were more likely to have severe and extremely severe stress compared to those who have skin disease when the levels of depression, anxiety and depression were categorized into normal, mild, moderate, severe and extremely severe levels. Conclusions: The association of depression, anxiety and stress in skin diseases are similar to chronic diseases. Subjects who have chronic disease were more likely to have severe and extremely severe stress compared to those who have skin disease. Patients with skin diseases need to be assessed regarding the psychological impact of their diseases.
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