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Survey: 72% of Eczema Patients Suffered Poor Mental Health Symptoms for 1-10 Days in Past Month

57% said they had never been asked about their mental health

 

EMBARGOED RELEASE: (November 9, 2023) - Please note study abstracts are included at the end of the news release.
 

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2023) – People who suffer with atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema, have an increased likelihood of developing depression and anxiety, which is made worse when additional allergic symptoms are present. A new study being presented at this year’s American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. showed that, among the people who suffered with AD, 72% reported poor mental health symptoms for 1-10 days within the past month, while 17% reported more than 11 days.


“People who don’t suffer with AD don’t understand how debilitating it can be,” says Allison Loiselle, PhD, lead author on the study for the National Eczema Association. “In addition to the terrible itching and dry, cracked skin, there are often sleep disruptions, and broader impacts on quality of life and overall well-being. Depression and anxiety are among the symptoms of those who deal with AD, and the chronic, unpredictable nature of this condition.”


Of 954 people who completed the survey, 23% were seeing an allergist as part of their eczema care team. For 124 (96 adults and 28 caregivers), their allergist was their/their child’s primary eczema provider. Most patients reported current AD severity as mild (36%) and 72% reported poor mental health symptoms for 1-10 days within the past month. 17% reported more than 11 days. One third (35%) said they had never brought up mental health with their allergist, and 57% said they had never been asked about it. 45% of respondents said their allergist had referred them to mental health services or resources.


“AD can be extremely hard to live with,” says Tamara Hubbard, MA, LCPC, a counselor who works with parents of those with allergies and asthma and a member of the ACAAI Public Relations Committee. (She was not involved with the study.) “The itching can be unrelenting, and many also fear AD negatively affects their appearance. AD-related quality of life impacts can include social impairment, emotional and behavioral problems, and significant psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. It’s important for patients and healthcare providers to discuss mental health concerns, and to be aware of resources and trained mental health professionals who can help. Working with an allergist to seek out treatments that reduce the effects of AD, along with a mental health professional, can help address the emotional and psychological toll of AD.”


Abstract Title: Atopic Dermatitis Patient Experience with Discussing and Addressing Mental Health Concerns with Allergists
Presenter: Allison Loiselle, PhD


For more information about atopic dermatitis, or to find an allergist in your area, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. The ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting is Nov. 9-13. For more news and research from the ACAAI Scientific Meeting, go to our newsroom and follow the conversation on X/Twitter #ACAAI23.


About ACAAI
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. Founded in 1942, the College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy, and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter/X.


 

P289
ATOPIC DERMATITIS PATIENT EXPERIENCE WITH DISCUSSING AND ADDRESSING MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS WITH ALLERGISTS
A. Loiselle*, J. Johnson, W. Smith Begolka, Novato, CA.

Introduction: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common form of eczema and has a significant, multidimensional burden of disease. Patients with AD have an increased likelihood of developing depression and anxiety, which is exacerbated when additional atopic comorbidities are present. Little is known about the patient experience with discussing or addressing mental health concerns with their allergist.
Methods: Adult AD patients (18+ years) or caregivers of pediatric AD patients (8-17 years) were recruited to complete an online survey October through November 2022.
Results: Of 954 people who met inclusion criteria and completed the survey, 23.5% (n=224) were seeing an allergist as part of their eczema care team. For 124 (96 adults and 28 caregivers), their allergist was their/their child’s primary eczema provider. Most patients reported current AD severity as mild (36.3%) and 72.6% reported poor mental health symptoms for 1-10 days within the past month, while 17.7% reported more than 11 days. One third (35.4%) said they had never brought up mental health with their allergist, and 57.2% said they had never been asked about it. Only 45.1% of respondents said their allergist had referred them to mental health services or resources.
Conclusion: Allergists often see AD patients with multiple atopic comorbidities, who may face a higher burden of mental health concerns. There remain opportunities to evolve the standard of care for diagnosis and discussion around mental health for AD patients within the allergy care setting.

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