Screening for psychiatric disorders in patients with skin diseases: A performance study of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire

Angelo Picardi, Damiano Abeni, Eva Mazzotti, Giovanni Fassone, Ilaria Lega, Luisa Ramieri, Emanuele Sagoni, Albertina Tiago, Paolo Pasquini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective Although psychiatric disorders are frequent among dermatological patients, no study has formally assessed the performance of any psychiatric screening questionnaire in dermatological practice. This study tested the ability of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) to identify psychiatric morbidity in dermatological patients. Methods A sample of 521 adult inpatients (81% of all eligible patients) completed the GHQ-12 and were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders (SCID-I) by a trained mental health professional masked to GHQ-12 score. Results The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that GHQ-12 possesses substantial discriminatory ability (area under the curve=0.70). The best balance between sensitivity (68%) and specificity (64%) was found at the GHQ-12 cutoff score of 3/4. This threshold gave a likelihood ratio for a positive or negative result of 1.90 and 0.50, respectively. Conclusion The performance of GHQ-12 was reasonably good for a self-administered questionnaire requiring only a few minutes to be completed and scored. Its routine use might increase recognition of psychiatric disorders in dermatological patients and contribute to improve patients' outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

Keywords

  • Dermatology
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

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