Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: A Psychotherapeutic Intervention in Patients with Chronic Dermatological Diseases
Psychological stress plays a vital role in skin disease. The worsening and reoccurrence of signs and symptoms of a wide array of skin diseases have been linked by various studies to stress. Together, stress and skin disease synergistically inhibit occupational, social, and emotional functioning resulting in diminished quality of life (Dixon, Witcraft, & Perry, 2019). Heightened levels of stress may contribute to an assortment of immediate and future adverse outcomes. These outcomes include triggering a skin outbreak, impairing function, behavioral avoidance, intense negative emotions such as shame and embarrassment, and emotional distress such as depression and anxiety (Dixon et al., 2019).
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship of stress, anxiety, and depression to the specific chronic skin diseases of acne vulgaris, psoriasis, vitiligo, rosacea, and atopic dermatitis. It will also discuss how a psychotherapeutic intervention called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) may decrease anxiety and depression in individuals affected by chronic skin diseases. This paper will also highlight the impact of MBSR on treatment adherence to dermatological prescription medications. A pilot program conducted in a dermatology clinic evaluates the effectiveness of an online mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention to decrease patient anxiety and depression.
Results indicate clinical significance in that participants noted reduced anxiety and depression symptoms and scores, enjoyed MBSR and would continue MBSR. The potential benefits of this pilot program may include decreased patient anxiety and depression, increased patient satisfaction, increased treatment adherence, improved patient satisfaction of intervention, and improved patient outcomes.