Patients labeled with delusions of parasitosis compose a heterogenous group: a retrospective study from a referral center.

Authors:
Jason S Reichenberg
Jason S Reichenberg
University of Texas Medical Branch
United States
Michelle Magid
Michelle Magid
University of Texas Southwestern at Seton Family of Hospitals
United States
Christine A Jesser
Christine A Jesser
Stanford University School of Medicine
United States
Clifton S Hall
Clifton S Hall
University of Texas Southwestern-Austin Program
United States

J Am Acad Dermatol 2013 Jan 8;68(1):41-6, 46.e1-2. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Southwestern-Austin Program, Austin, Texas 78701, USA.

Background: There are few diagnostic tools available to the dermatologist to help in the diagnosis of patients with delusions of parasitosis (DOP).

Objective: We sought to find differences in presentation and clinical course between patients who received a final diagnosis of DOP and those who received a final diagnosis of a primary medical condition or other psychiatric disorder.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients referred with a diagnosis of DOP. Each patient received a final consensus diagnosis.

Results: In all, 47 patients were included in the study. Patients reporting bugs were more likely to be given a final diagnosis of delusional disorder or found to have a medical diagnosis, whereas patients noting fibers were more likely to have a somatoform disorder. A review of systems can be helpful in making a final diagnosis. Patients referred to the clinic for DOP were 300 times more likely to require a physician to contact the hospital's legal counsel compared with other patients in the practice.

Limitations: The retrospective nature of the study resulted in limited laboratory testing and psychiatric evaluation in some patients. Many of the patients may have been inappropriately referred to the DOP clinic because of other psychiatric comorbidities.

Conclusion: Patients referred to this practice as "delusional" had a heterogeneous final diagnosis. The chief symptom of the patient was predictive of the patient's final diagnosis. The use of written questionnaires may be helpful. These patients have a greatly increased risk of requiring the physician to seek legal counsel.

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2012.08.006DOI Listing

Still can't find the full text of the article?

Let us try to send a request to the authors directly.
January 2013
15 Reads

Publication Analysis

Top Keywords

final diagnosis
24
patients
13
received final
12
diagnosis patients
12
patients referred
12
diagnosis
9
delusions parasitosis
8
legal counsel
8
diagnosis dop
8
final
7
referred clinic
4
clinic dop
4
dop 300
4
300 times
4
times require
4
counsel compared
4
compared patients
4
hospital's legal
4
contact hospital's
4
require physician
4

Similar Publications