Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria, Psychological Co-morbidity and Posttraumatic Stress: The Impact of Alexithymia and Repression

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria, Psychological Co-morbidity and Posttraumatic Stress: The Impact of... The objective of this study was to investigate the interrelationship between chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), psychological co-morbidity, posttraumatic stress, repression and alexithymia. 89 participants with CIU and 105 without CIU responded to an online questionnaire. Both groups completed the General Health Questionnaire-12, the Perceived Stress Scale, the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 and were categorised into four defence mechanism groups (repressive, defensive, high-anxious, low-anxious). CIU participants also completed the Skindex-17 and a self-report severity measure. CIU participants reported higher levels of alexithymia than the control group and their defence mechanism was most likely to be categorised as defensive, with conscious self-image management reported alongside high manifest anxiety. Partial least squares analysis revealed significant paths between posttraumatic stress and CIU severity and psychological co-morbidity. Posttraumatic stress was associated with alexithymia and type of defence mechanism. Only being in the high-anxious group partially mediated the relationship between posttraumatic stress and CIU severity. In conclusion, there is evidence for a relationship between CIU and trauma. The severity of posttraumatic symptoms varies depending upon alexithymic traits and defence mechanisms used. Disease severity and psychological co-morbidity are differentially influenced by the relationships between trauma, alexithymic traits and defence mechanisms. Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria, Psychological Co-morbidity and Posttraumatic Stress: The Impact of Alexithymia and Repression

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Springer US
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Sociology, general; Public Health
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  • The impact of chronic urticaria on the quality of life
    O’Donnell, B; Lawlor, F; Simpson, J; Morgan, M

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