Dermatologists May Need Further Training in Identifying Depression

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The percentage of dermatologists recognizing signs of depression or anxiety, as assessed by HADS-value ≥11, was 44% for depression and 35.6% for anxiety.
The percentage of dermatologists recognizing signs of depression or anxiety, as assessed by HADS-value ≥11, was 44% for depression and 35.6% for anxiety.

HealthDay News — 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 anxiety by a dermatologist and patients' self-reported responses to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Based on data from 3635 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% for depression and 35.6% for anxiety, while 56% of dermatologists did not detect depression in nondepressed patients and 64.4%  did not detect anxiety in nonanxious patients.

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

Reference

Dalgard FJ, Svensson A, Gieler U, et al. Dermatologists across Europe underestimate depression and anxiety: results from 3635 dermatological consultations [published online December 16, 2017]. Br J Dermatol. doi:10.1111/bjd.16250

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