Poor Mental Health in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis - EMJ

Poor Mental Health in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis

1 Mins
Allergy & Immunology
Dermatology

PATIENTS with atopic dermatitis (AD) have been shown to have an increased chance of developing anxiety and depression, according to new research presented by Allison Loiselle, National Eczema Association (NEA), USA, and her team. Researchers also found that poor mental health worsened when additional allergic symptoms were present in patients with AD, more commonly known as eczema.

Loiselle and colleagues surveyed 954 adults, who either had AD or were a caregiver to a child with AD. Of this group, 224 (23.5%) were seeing an allergist for eczema, and 124 (13.0%) reported that their allergist was their or their child’s primary eczema care provider. AD severity was reported to be mild in 36% of patients.

Results showed that 90.3% of the respondents seeing an allergist as their primary eczema care provider experienced at least 1 day of poor mental health per month. Amongst these patients, 72.6% reported experiencing poor mental health for 1–10 days per month, and 17.7% reported poor mental health symptoms for 11 or more days per month. Over one-third (35.5%) had never brought up mental health with their allergist, and 57.2% of the patients had never been asked about mental health by their allergist. Only 45.1% of patients reported having been referred to mental health services by their allergist.

The researchers concluded that “allergists are in a unique position to alleviate the symptom-associated emotional burden of AD and other atopic conditions,” particularly as multiple comorbidities exacerbate the connection between AD and mental health. “There is an opportunity to enhance the standard of care by inviting discussion around mental health with patients,” Loiselle added.

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