Attentiveness of dermatologists in the middle east to psychocutaneous medicine

Ossama T. Osman, Abdul Kader Souid, Fadwa Al-Mugaddam, Bell R. Eapen, Mohammad Jafferany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Patients with skin diseases often have psychological problems and complications that require assessment and treatment. The main objective of this study was to explore attentiveness of dermatologists to psychiatric symptoms in their patients. Methods: A previously validated online questionnaire was used to explore the attitude and experience of dermatologists practicing in the Middle East toward the assessment of the psychiatric needs of their patients. The survey also inquired about awareness of available resources in dealing with psychodermatology. This online survey was conducted between October 2011 and October 2012. Results: Of 70 invited dermatologists, 57 (81%) completed the survey. Fifteen respondents (31%) received no training and had attended no educational events on psychodermatology. Only 19 respondents (33%) were able to identify psychodermatology as psychiatric components of skin diseases and dermatologic symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Twenty respondents (41%) reported frequent experience with psychodermatology, and 14 (28%) were “very comfortable” in diagnosing and treating psychodermatology patients. Twenty-two respondents (47%) recognized psychocutaneous involvement in 10% to 25% of their patients, while 18 (36%) recognized it in < 10% of their patients. Recognized diagnoses that required referral for psychiatric assessment included trichotillomania (34%), delusion of parasitosis (22%), depression (18%), dysmorphophobias (16%), dermatitis (10%), and venereophobia (10%). Forty-five respondents (90%) were unaware of psychodermatology resources. The majority of respondents expressed interest in education on depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, and body dysmorphic disorder. Conclusions: Psychocutaneous involvements are common among dermatologic patients. A large number of the surveyed dermatologists had no training or education in psychodermatology. A lack of familiarity with patient and family resources on psychocutaneous conditions was also evident. These findings support the need for improvement in training and education in psychodermatology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16m02080
JournalPrimary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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