Prevalence of mood and sleep problems in chronic skin diseases: a pilot study

Cutis. 2008 May;81(5):398-402.


The relationship between chronic skin problems and mood and sleep disorders merits more attention. Mood and sleep problems add to comorbidity of chronic skin diseases and affect patient compliance with dermatologic treatment. A pilot study was conducted to determine the prevalence of mood and sleep problems in participants with chronic skin diseases in outpatient dermatology clinics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, using 4 self-assessment questionnaires. Study participants included willing adults with any skin problem of at least 6 months' duration. The participants were asked to complete the questionnaires, which included Current Life Functioning, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Beck Anxiety Inventory. In summary, 15 of 16 participants had poor sleep quality. Six participants had poor sleep quality without any mood problems (depression or anxiety). Mood problems worsened the quality of sleep and functioning. Nine of 16 participants (56.25%) reported mood problems (depression or anxiety). The results show a high prevalence of depression and anxiety and a very high prevalence of poor sleep quality. Considering the negative effect of comorbid psychiatric and sleep problems on treatment and prognosis of chronic skin diseases, this study demonstrates the need for further evaluation and eventual screening of all patients with chronic skin diseases for mood and sleep problems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depressive Disorder / complications*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological Tests
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Skin Diseases / complications*
  • Skin Diseases / psychology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires