The impact of changes in clinical severity on psychiatric morbidity in patients with psoriasis: A follow-up study

F. Sampogna, S. Tabolli, D. Abeni, Massimo Alotto, Gianluca Antonelli, Simone Bolli, Rino Cavalieri, Massimo Luca Chinni, Marcello Fazio, Giampiero Girolomoni, Elisabetta Luchetti, Eva Mazzotti, Carmelo Franco Melchi, Nidia Melo Salcedo, Paola Moscatelli, Paolo Pasquini, Paolo Piazza, Orietta Picconi, Maria Antonietta Pilla, Grazia PrimaveraPietro Puddu, Paolo Ruatti, Giuseppe Ruggiero, Valentina Salvatori, Francesco Sera, Romeo Simoni, Donatella Sordi, Albertina Tiago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Psoriasis has a strong impact on quality of life and is correlated to psychopathological states. It is important to investigate the effect of clinical changes on psychological status. Objectives: To analyse the extent of clinical change and its effect on the presence of psychiatric morbidity in a group of patients with psoriasis. Methods: All eligible adults hospitalized with psoriasis in a dermatological hospital (February 2000-February 2002) were given the self-administered Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (SAPASI) to assess clinical severity, the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) to detect patients with psychological problems (defined as 'cases') and the Skindex-29 to evaluate symptoms. The same questionnaires were completed by the patients a month after hospital discharge. Results: In our population of 414 patients, the incidence of GHQ cases becoming noncases was correlated with the SAPASI percentage improvement, ranging from 17.6% in patients with SAPASI worsened or unchanged at follow-up, to 68.2% in patients with clearance of psoriasis. Also, the proportion of patients who became GHQ noncases was much higher in patients with improvement of ≥ 50% in symptoms, compared with patients with no improvement or worsening (70% vs. 32%, respectively). In a multivariate model the possible determinants of the passage from GHQ case to noncase were: SAPASI improvement, symptom improvement, no localization on the face, and gender (i.e. women were less likely to improve psychologically). Conclusions: The improvement in clinical severity and symptoms was associated with a decreased frequency of psychiatric disturbance. However, dermatologists should be aware that even in the presence of vast clinical improvement patients may still substantially suffer psychologically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-513
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Psoriasis
  • Psychology
  • Quality of life
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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