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Dusunen Adam. 2011; 24(4): 306-313

Psychiatric morbidity in patients with vitiligo

Özlem Devrim Balaban, Murat İlhan Atagün, Halise Devrimci Özgüven, Hüseyin Hamdi Özsan.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of psychiatric morbidity in vitiligo patients treated at the dermatology outpatient clinic and to investigate the relation between anxiety, depression, social anxiety levels, and self esteem and disability in these patients.

Method: Fourty-two patients with vitiligo were assessed with Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Control group included subjects matched to patients in terms of age, sex and education level.

Results: In comparison to healthy controls, the rate of psychiatric morbidity was found to be higher and mean self-esteem score was found to be lower in the vitiligo group. There was no significant difference between groups in terms of social anxiety. Majority of the patients were mildly disabled. Among the vitiligo cases, psychiatric morbidity was found more frequent in female and young participants. Anxiety and social avoidance scores negatively correlated with age.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that the rate of psychiatric morbidity is higher in patients with vitiligo than healthy control subjects. Patients with vitiligo treated at dermatology clinics should be assessed in terms of psychiatric disorders and psychiatric interventions may become necessary in the course of illness.

Key words: Self esteem, psychiatric morbidity, social anxiety, vitiligo

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