Chronic urticaria: importance of a medical-psychological approach

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 May;38(5):149-52.


Chronic urticaria is often associated with psychological factors, such as depression, anxiety and stress, which may play a role not only in the genesis of the disease but also in its evolution. Aims of this study were to evaluate the utility of psychological assessments (presence of depression, impact on the quality of life and incidence of "life events" before the beginning of urticaria) in conjunction with the allergological evaluation and to provide appropriate treatment to the patients selected. Thirty subjects diagnosed as Chronic Urticaria patients were submitted to psychological assessments (semi structured interview, Beck Depression Inventory, Nottingham health Profile and Dermatology Life Quality Index). The results of the evaluation show that most of the patients experienced a "stressor" event within the six months before the onset of the cutaneous manifestation. The incidence of depression resulted very high in comparison with the general population and in three cases at a severe level. The impact on the quality of life results to be moderate, but involving different fields of life (physical image, social life, quality of sleeping and eating, etc). Despite these results, only six patients accepted to be assigned to an appropriate treatment. In conclusion, we demonstrate the usefulness of a medical- psychological approach in chronic urticaria and we confirmed the resistance of psychosomatic patients to undergo psychological treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Angioedema / epidemiology
  • Angioedema / psychology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Urticaria / drug therapy
  • Urticaria / epidemiology
  • Urticaria / psychology*
  • Urticaria / therapy


  • Psychotropic Drugs