Psychocutaneous Medicine in Iraq: Current Status and Recommendations

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2022 Apr 21;24(2):21m03077. doi: 10.4088/PCC.21m03077.


Objective: To evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of Iraqi dermatologists regarding understanding, diagnosing, and treating psychocutaneous disorders.

Methods: An online survey questionnaire was randomly distributed among Iraqi dermatologists through Google Forms in August 2020. The dermatologists were asked to provide information on their understanding of psychodermatology, referral patterns, level of comfort in managing psychocutaneous disorders, awareness of community resources, and interest in learning more about psychodermatology.

Results: Of 200 distributed questionnaires, 61 were returned. The most common psychocutaneous disorder seen was acne, followed by alopecia areata and vitiligo. About half of the participants reported being neutral about their comfort level in treating psychocutaneous disorders, and approximately half had no formal training in psychodermatology. Almost 60% of participants did not know of any community resources, and three-quarters were willing to seek educational activities on psychodermatology.

Conclusions: The study results revealed that Iraqi dermatologists have significant gaps in knowledge, training, and treatment of psychocutaneous disorders. The survey findings reveal the importance of addressing the training needs of young physicians, including dermatologists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians, in relation to the psychological component of skin diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia Areata*
  • Dermatologists
  • Dermatology*
  • Humans
  • Iraq
  • Skin Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases* / psychology
  • Skin Diseases* / therapy