Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the significance of general and psoriasis specific psychological variables in patients with psoriasis and to examine the relative importance of disease status and these psychological variables in predicting psoriasis-related disability.
Method: A total of 115 patients with psoriasis underwent clinical assessment and completed a number of psychological and psoriasis specific questionnaires.
Results: High levels of self-reported distress were identified with 43% and 10% of patients scoring as probable cases on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) subscales of anxiety (mean 9.3+/-4.9) and depression (mean 4.8+/-3.7), respectively. Multiple regression analysis indicated that clinical severity of psoriasis and anatomical area of involvement had no impact on psychological distress and disability. Perceptions of stigmatisation were significantly related to both psychological distress and degree of disability (P's<.001) and accounted for a significant amount of the variance in disability over and above general psychological distress (F change=11.03; P<.001).
Conclusion: Psychological factors were much stronger determinants of disability in patients with psoriasis than disease severity, location or duration. This has important implications in relation to the clinical management of psoriasis.