Personality evaluation in psoriasis

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Emotional disturbance has been considered an important factor in precipitating and perpetuating psoriasis since the 19th century. Obermayer1 considered psoriasis a constitutional dermatosis frequently associated with neurosis.

The purpose of this study was to determine any relationship between anxiety or stress and exacerbations of psoriasis in a large group of patients hospitalized for psoriasis. The group was evaluated subjectively by questionnaire regarding their beliefs about psoriasis. Psychometric testing was performed on hospitalized psoriatic patients, and the mean scores were compared with the mean scores of a group of outpatient psoriatics and a group of patients hospitalized for other dermatologic conditions.

Materials and methods

From October 1970 to March 1971, 50 consecutive patients admitted to the Cleveland Clinic Hospital with psoriasis were selected for the study (Group 1). They were admitted for Goeckerman therapy or for liver biopsy performed to assess methotrexate therapy, or both.

A 15-question survey regarding the individual’s beliefs about psoriasis and related problems was given to each patient. Forty-eight patients completed the questionnaire. All 50 patients also completed a 704-question combination of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)2 and the California Psychological Inventory (CPI),3 from which all standard clinical scales of both tests were scored.

A group of 15 outpatients with psoriasis were also tested with the combined MMPI and CPI (Group II). These patients had limited involvement not requiring methotrexate therapy or hospitalization (Table 1).

Another group of 15 patients (Group III) had other dermatoses serious enough to warrant hospitalization (Table 2). This group was also . . .



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