Factors related to alexithymia in patients with systemic sclerosis: a tight relationship with facial image dissatisfaction

Fabio Basta, Domenico Paolo Emanuele Margiotta, Carmen Mazzuca, Veronica Batani, Giulio Dolcini, Patrizio Moras, Marta Vadacca, Antonella Afeltra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To assess clinical and psychosocial factors related to alexithymia in systemic sclerosis (SSc). We enrolled 40 consecutive SSc patients in a cross-sectional study evaluating alexithymia with Toronto Alexithymia scale (TAS-20). We measured Beck Depression inventory (BDI), Hamilton Anxiety rating scale (HAM-H), 36-Items Short-Form Healthy Survey (SF-36), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-Fatigue, Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Satisfaction with Appearance Scale (SWAP), and Mouth Handicap in Systemic Sclerosis (MHISS). The prevalence of alexithymia was 42%. Alexithymic patients presented increased depressive (p = ≤ 0.001) and anxiety symptoms (p = ≤ 0.001), sleep disorders (p = 0.03), pain (p = 0.02), esthetic concerns (p = 0.03), disability in activities (p = 0.03) and reduced scores of SF-36 in mental components summary (MCS) (p = ≤ 0.001) and physical components summary (PCS) (p = 0.01). We found significant correlations with sleep disorders (r = 0.41, p = ≤ 0.001), BID (r = 0.35, p = 0.04), facial image dissatisfaction (r = 0.35, p = 0.04), mouth disability (r = 0.51, p = 0.005), depressive (r = 0.6, p = ≤ 0.001), and anxiety symptoms (r = 0.48, p = ≤ 0.001), fatigue (r = - 0.45 p = 0.005), SF-36 PCS (r = - 0.51, p = ≤ 0.001) and MCS (r = - 0.65, p = ≤ 0.001). In multiple linear regression analysis, SWAP facial was the only variable associated with TAS-20 [0.99 (0.48) p = 0.05]. Alexithymia correlates with several psychosocial factors but seems strongly related to facial image dissatisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalRheumatology International
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 29 2018
Externally publishedYes

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