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10-07-2018 | Original Article

How Does Anxiety Affect Adults with Skin Disease? Examining the Indirect Effect of Anxiety Symptoms on Impairment Through Anxiety Sensitivity

Cognitive Therapy and Research
Laura J. Dixon, Sara M. Witcraft, Megan M. Perry


Emerging research suggests social anxiety, health anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder symptoms are particularly relevant for dermatology patients. Unfortunately, very few studies have investigated how these anxieties affect quality of life among individuals with skin disease. The aims of the present study were to characterize the rates of these anxiety syndromes among adults with active skin disease symptoms, examine correlations between anxiety and skin disease symptoms, and test the mediating role of anxiety sensitivity in skin-related impairment. A considerable number of participants (N = 237) screened positive for social anxiety disorder (62.9%), health anxiety (18.1%), and generalized anxiety disorder (32.5%). Consistent with hypothesis, each anxiety syndrome was indirectly related to skin-related impairment through anxiety sensitivity. Overall, the findings emphasize the importance of anxiety symptoms in dermatological outcomes.

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