Assessment of anxiety and depression in adolescents with acne vulgaris related to the severity of clinical features and gender

Nermina Kurtalić, Nermina Hadžigrahić, Husref Tahirović, Sena Šadić


Objective. To determine anxiety and depression levels inadolescents with acne vulgaris in relation to clinical severityand gender. Patients and methods. Using a sectional study,the anxiety and depression level was analyzed of 90 adolescentsof both sexes, aged 16 to 21 years, who were sufferingfrom acne vulgaris. The study was conducted between February1st 2008 and January 31st 2009 at the Dermatovenerologydepartment of the Cantonal Hospital “Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić”,Bihac. According to the type of efflorescence, its localizationand severity of clinical features, respondents were classifiedin three groups: the first group consisted of adolescents withmild forms of acne, the second group had moderate formsof acne and the third had severe forms of acne. Evaluationof anxiety levels in patients with acne vulgaris was made usingSTAI questionnaire (Spielberger’s state and trait AnxietyInventory) that consists of 20 questions about the essentialcharacteristics of anxiety as the condition, and the level ofdepression was determined using the BDS-scale (Back DepressionInventory) which consists of 18 items that were usedby the respondents to perform self-evaluation of depressionlevel. Results. In the study group there were 54 (60%) femalerespondents and 36 (40%) male, mean age 17.5 years (range15.6-20.6). Of the total number of patients with acne vulgaris,nine of them or 10% (4 female and 5 male) had a mild form ofacne (first group), 72 of them or 80% (46 female and 26 male)a moderate form of acne (second group) and 9 of them or 10% (4 female and 5 male) a severe form of acne (third group)(p > 0.95). 1.1% of the respondents had an exceptionally lowanxiety level, 13.3% had low level, moderate 76.8% and 8.8%had a high level. 37.8% had distinct signs of depression, therisk group consisted of 44.4%, and a normal value was foundin 17.7%. The values of the STAI questionnaire expressed asmedian (range) in the first, second and third groups were 58.7(39-70), 57.7 (20-70) and 60.2 (40-70) (p = 0.36), while thevalues of the BDS scale within the same groups were 13.4 (8-16), 15.1 (3-29) and 14.4 (7-24) (p = 0.367). Conclusion. Thelevel of depression and anxiety in patients with acne vulgarisis not related to severity and patient sex.


Acne vulgaris; Adolescents; Anxiety and depression; STAI questionnaire

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