Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Pediatric Tool Assesses Psychosocial Effects of Skin Diseases

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Pediatric Tool Assesses Psychosocial Effects of Skin Diseases

Article excerpt

EXPERT ANALYSIS FROM THE SPD ANNUAL MEETING

MINNEAPOLIS -- A new screening tool may help dermatologists address the psychosocial issues relating to appearance and body image in children and adolescents, according to Elizabeth Tocci, MD.

The Pediatric Dermatology Psychosocial Screen (PDPS) is being developed as a standardized tool to evaluate psychosocial stress related to birthmarks, skin diseases, and conditions affecting pigmentation or hair growth. Dr. Tocci, who has been involved with the development of the PDPS, said it is a useful tool to provide support for pediatric dermatology patients and to help dermatologists decide when mental health consults are warranted in their pediatric patients.

Dr. Tocci, a resident in dermatology at Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, R.I., described the tool and initial testing results in a poster session at the annual meeting of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

The PDPS is a refinement of a pilot survey, created by Dr. Tocci and her coauthors in consultation with experts in neurodermatitis and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Following preliminary validity analysis of the pilot questionnaire, a revised PDPS was administered to 105 children, aged 8-19 years, who were patients at a pediatric dermatology clinic. In addition to completing the PDPS, they also filled out psychological questionnaires that assessed for depression, self-esteem, and social problems.

The PDPS asks general questions about the skin diagnosis and any treatments the patient may have used, such as over-the-counter products, prescription medications, and procedures, as well as the use of makeup. In addition, the PDPS asks what social and psychological supports or online resources the patient might have tried, including support groups and appointments with school counselors or mental health providers. …

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