Prevalence of depression and anxiety among patients with chronic pruritus

Saravanan, M.S.P., Gandhi Babu, R., Asok Kumar, M and Kaviarasan, P.K

Objectives: Various studies have shown high prevalence of psychiatric disorders among dermatology outpatients and inpatients. As pruritus is the most common complaint in dermatology, we investigated the status of mental health in outpatient with chronic pruritus as a chief complaint. The objective of this study is to find out the prevalence of depression and anxiety and its severity among patients with chronic pruritus.
Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted for a period of
11 months among out patients of dermatology in Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital. A total of 100 patients, randomly divided into one groups with 100 patients.
Results: In this study psychiatric morbidity was found to be abnormal in 83% of the patients. Using ICD-10 criteria for clinical psychiatric diagnoses indicated that 83% of dermatology patients had an associated psychiatric morbidity most commonly depression (62%) and anxiety (46%).
Conclusion: In this study, psychiatric co-morbidity in the patients with chronic pruritus, psychiatric and psychological interventions should be considered in these patients to improve their quality of life and mental health.

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