Psychosocial Aspects of Scleroderma

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2015 Aug;41(3):519-28. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2015.04.010. Epub 2015 May 27.


Patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc; also called scleroderma) have to cope with not only the physical impacts of the disease but also the emotional and social consequences of living with the condition. Because there is no cure for SSc, improving quality of life is a primary focus of treatment and an important clinical challenge. This article summarizes significant problems faced by patients with SSc, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disruption, pain, pruritus, body image dissatisfaction, and sexual dysfunction, and describes options to help patients cope with the consequences of the disease.

Keywords: Psychosocial; Quality of life; Scleroderma; Self-management; Systemic sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Anxiety
  • Depression / etiology
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / psychology*
  • Self Care
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology