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Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2008;21(4):309-17. doi: 10.2478/v10001-008-0034-8.

Self-image and quality of life of dermatology patients.

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Department of Work Psychology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland.



The problems of self-image among patients with dermal problems have been seldom explored. As dermal diseases detrimentally affect well-being, functioning and adaptation of dermatology patients, they may decrease the level of self-acceptance. Self-image, on the other hand, may significantly affect the own mental health status and quality of life (QoL) in that group of patients. The aim of our research was to assess mental health status and quality of life of patients with dermal problems in respect of the level of their self-acceptance.


The participants were patients of the Occupational Diseases Outpatient Clinic and the Occupational and Environmental Allergy Centre of the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (NIOM). In total, 112 patients were examined, including 37 with diagnosed urticaria, 50 with allergic contact dermatitis and 25 with atopic dermatitis. General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was used to assess patients' mental health, a Polish version of Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) was employed for the assessment of their life quality, while Self-Acceptance Scale (SAS) served to obtain patients' self-image.


There were statistically significant differences in the assessment of mental health and quality of life, depending on the level of self-acceptance. People with high self-acceptance are characterised by better mental health condition than those with low self-acceptance (t=4.8; p=0.00). The patients with negative self-image (compared to those with positive self-image) deem also their quality of life to be poor (t=3.1; p=0.00).


A relationship has been found to exist both between mental health condition and the subjective assessment of life quality, and self-image. Thus, both patient's mental health status and his/her self image constitute major determinants of the quality of life that are worth to be monitored in dermatology patients. Their treatment procedure should include also psychological consulting or psychotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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