Objective: Chronic urticaria (CU), a common disease characterized by itching wheals, leads to a negative effect of on quality of life (QoL). It may cause anxiety and depression or result in exacerbation of these. We aimed to i) evaluate depression, anxiety levels and QoL in patients with CU and compare these with those of controls, ii) show whether there is any correlation between disease activity and QoL, anxiety, and depression.
Materials and Methods: A total of 105 CU patients and 86 controls, all above the age of 18 years, were included. Levels of anxiety, depression, and disease activity in patients and controls were measured with the Spielberger State/Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S/T), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Urticaria Activity Score 7 (UAS7). QoL was evaluated with the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DQLI) for CU patients. Data were analyzed with SPSS 24.0. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: STAI-S showed that the anxiety rate was nearly two-fold in patients with CU compared to the controls (63.4% vs. 35.1%, p=0.001). When BDI scores were categorized, a higher fraction of controls had minimal BDI scores, compared to the patients who had moderate to severe depression (75.2% vs. 39%, p=0.0001). A positive, but low-to-moderate correlation was determined between disease activity and impaired QoL (R: 0.448, p: 0.001).
Conclusion: Anxiety and depression levels were higher in CU patients. DQLI was low-to-moderately correlated with disease activity; patients with higher disease activity had higher levels of impairment in the quality of life. A psychological pre-assessment and psychiatric consultation in necessary cases could make a significant improvement in the management of CU.