Location of lesions versus intensity of psychopathological symptoms in patients with skin diseases
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Zakład Rehabilitacji Psychospołecznej, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi
Pracownia Metodologii Badań Psychologicznych i Statystyki, Instytut Psychologii, Uniwersytet Łódzki
Submission date: 2016-11-03
Final revision date: 2017-02-24
Acceptance date: 2017-03-04
Online publication date: 2018-12-29
Publication date: 2018-12-29
Corresponding author
Magdalena Kostyła   

Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi, pl. Hallera 1 (bud. 7), 90-647 Łódź, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2018;52(6):1101-1112
grant MNiSW nr 502-03/7-128-03/502-54-093
The location of skin lesions may be a significant psychological factor in dermatological disease. The study assesses the correlation between the location of skin lesions and the intensity of psychopathological symptoms. The analysis considers various effects including the tendency for deliberate concealment of lesions and subjective feelings of being stigmatized.

The study included 150 patients (M = 46.14; SD = 17.28) treated for various skin complaints. Patients were divided into 3 equal groups according to the location of skin lesions: all over body, on covered or exposed body parts. The intensity of psychopathological symptoms was measured with the SCL-90. Demographic data and disease-related characteristics were collected by means of a questionnaire developed for the present study.

The relationship between the location of skin lesions and the severity of some psychopathological symptoms was observed, especially among patients treated only for skin diseases. Patients’ mental condition can be indirectly influenced by their inclination to deliberately hide lesions, as well as by their subjective experience of hostility from their environment.

The most severe psychopathological symptoms were observed in the patients with skin lesions all over their bodies. The patients with lesions on visible body parts are characterized by a higher intensity of “interpersonal sensitivity” when compared to those with lesions on the covered body parts. The opposite trend was observed for the remaining SCL-90 variables. The obtained results can prompt further direction of research which takes into consideration the share of psychosocial factors in the functioning of dermatological patients.

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