Dermatologists often undervalue depression, anxiety in patients

December 28, 2017

(HealthDay)—Dermatologists across Europe tend to underestimate mood disorders in their patients, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Florence J. Dalgard, from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues estimated the agreement between clinical assessment of depression and by a dermatologist and patients' self-reported responses to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Based on data from 3,635 patient consultations, the researchers found that the agreement between dermatologist and HADS was poor to fair for all categories. The percentage of dermatologists recognizing signs of depression or anxiety, as assessed by HADS-value ≥11, was 44 percent for depression and 35.6 percent for anxiety, while 56 percent of dermatologists did not detect depression in nondepressed patients and 64.4 percent did not detect anxiety in nonanxious patients.

"The results point out that further training for dermatologists to improve their skills in diagnosing and anxiety might be appropriate," the authors write. "The psychological suffering of dermatological patients needs to be addressed when present."

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