A survey assessment of the recognition and treatment of psychocutaneous disorders in the outpatient dermatology setting: how prepared are we?

Authors:
Sarah N Gee
Sarah N Gee
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Nancy Keuthen
Nancy Keuthen
Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
Daniela Kroshinsky
Daniela Kroshinsky
Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
Alexa Boer Kimball
Alexa Boer Kimball
Harvard Medical School

J Am Acad Dermatol 2013 Jan 3;68(1):47-52. Epub 2012 Sep 3.

Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Background: Dermatologists provide the bulk of psychocutaneous care; however, recent studies suggest that dermatologists believe they are largely underprepared to treat most psychocutaneous conditions.

Objective: We sought to identify gaps in psychodermatologic knowledge among practicing dermatologists in two academic institutions.

Methods: An online survey was sent to 59 dermatologists at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA) and Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, MA) from July 2010 through October 2011.

Results: The response rate was 40 of 59 (68%). More than 50% of dermatologists were comfortable making diagnoses for 8 of 10 psychocutaneous disorders. In all, 57% were comfortable making a diagnosis of depression. A total of 11% were comfortable starting antidepressants; 3%, antipsychotics; and 66%, medications for neuropathic pain. In all, 72%, 68%, and 21% of dermatologists never prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics, or medications for neuropathic pain, respectively. Only 38% believed they were successful treating compulsive skin picking; 15%, body dysmorphic disorder; 27%, delusions of parasitosis; and 24%, depression.

Limitations: Limitations include small sample size, data extraction from an academic setting, self-reporting of outcome measures, and response bias.

Conclusion: Although the majority of the physicians surveyed believed they were capable of diagnosing psychocutaneous disease, very few were comfortable starting psychotropics or thought they were successful treating such conditions.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2012.04.007DOI Listing
January 2013
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