Quality of life, anxiety, depression, social anxiety and avoidance in patients with chronic hand eczema

Ital J Dermatol Venerol. 2021 Oct;156(5):562-569. doi: 10.23736/S2784-8671.21.06645-1. Epub 2021 Apr 29.


Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that chronic hand eczema (CHE) causes negative effects on psychological status of patients. However, presence of social anxiety and avoidance has not been investigated in CHE patients. In this descriptive and prospective study, we aimed to examine the psychosocial dimensions of CHE in a more detailed manner.

Methods: 70 patients with CHE and 70 controls were participated in the study. The quality of life (QoL) was assessed with the World Health Organization QoL Questionnaire-Short Form (WHOQoL-BREF); anxiety and depression were evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS); and social anxiety and avoidance were evaluated with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS).

Results: The physical and environmental subscale scores of the WHOQoL-BREF were significantly lower (P<0.001, P=0.041); whereas HADS-total (P=0.019), HADS-anxiety (P=0.014), LSAS-total (P=0.025), LSAS-anxiety (P=0.037) and LSAS-avoidance (P=0.029) scores were significantly higher in CHE patients compared to controls. The physical (r=-0.260, P=0.002) and social (r=0.204, P=0.016) domains of the WHOQoL-BREF scale negatively correlated with the severity of eczema, while the psychological (r=-0.363, P=0.002) and environmental (r=-0.456, P<0.001) domains negatively correlated with the extent of eczema. HADS-total (r=0.284, P=0.017) and HADS-depression (r=0.311, P=0.009) also showed positive correlations with the extent of the CHE.

Conclusions: Considering that impairment in QoL may be associated with psychosocial morbidity, it is important to develop strategies to recognize and treat those psychiatric comorbidities in patients with CHE.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eczema*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*