Assessing the psychological burden of patients with hidradenitis suppurativa.Eur J Dermatol 2019; 29(3):294-301EJ
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) causes a significantly compromised quality of life. Assessment of the psychological burden of HS is crucial for evidence-based allocation of resources. We examined methods to easily assess the psychological burden in HS patients. A total of 110 HS patients were assessed with respect to sociodemographic data, Hurley scale, and modified Sartorius score. Patients were asked to provide information on time of first diagnosis, previous therapies, surgical intervention, and pre-existing conditions. Distributed questionnaires were the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the Skindex-29, the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain, and the German version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D) for evaluation of anxiety (HADS-D/A) and depression (HADS-D/D). Of the 110 patients with HS (mean age: 38 ± 12 years; range: 18 to 75), 61 were female and 49 were male. We found a statistically significant correlation between HADS-D/A and VAS (p = 0.009), between Skindex-29 and Sartorius score (symptoms: p = 0.024; emotions: p = 0.019; functional status: p = 0.002), as well as between Skindex-29 and VAS (symptoms: p = 0.000; emotions: p = 0.001; functional status: p = 0.000). Additionally, VAS correlated significantly with DLQI (p = 0.000) and body mass index with Sartorius score (p = 0.038). Our study shows that HS patients experience a high level of psychological distress. Interestingly, a clear correlation between psychological burden and HS patients was inferred by the VAS for pain. HS patients require active management for their physical as well as psychological health.