Send to

Choose Destination
Psychosom Med. 2001 Mar-Apr;63(2):216-20.

Psychological factors and delayed healing in chronic wounds.

Author information

Wound Healing Research Centre, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK.



Studies have shown that stress can delay the healing of experimental punch biopsy wounds. This study examined the relationship between the healing of natural wounds and anxiety and depression.


Fifty-three subjects (31 women and 22 men) were studied. Wound healing was rated using a five-point Likert scale. Anxiety and depression were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD), a well-validated psychometric questionnaire. Psychological and clinical wound assessments were each conducted with raters and subjects blinded to the results of the other assessment.


Delayed healing was associated with a higher mean HAD score (p = .0348). Higher HAD anxiety and depression scores (indicating "caseness") were also associated with delayed healing (p = .0476 and p = .0311, respectively). Patients scoring in the top 50% of total HAD scores were four times more likely to have delayed healing than those scoring in the bottom 50% (confidence interval = 1.06-15.08).


The relationship between healing of chronic wounds and anxiety and depression as measured by the HAD was statistically significant. Further research in the form of a longitudinal study and/or an interventional study is proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center