Psychiatric symptoms and quality of life in Systemic sclerosis

G. Mura, Krishna M. Bhat, A. Pisano, G. Licci, M. G. Carta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Introduction: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare conjunctive tissue disorder characterized by fibrosis of the skin and internal organs, and vascular obliteration phenomena. Patients with SSc often experience elevated symptoms of psychological distress, determined by the disfiguration, the pain, the fatigue sensation, and the difficult in daily life occupations. The characteristics of the disease may influence the perceived quality of life (QoL) in people with SSc. Methods: This is a narrative review aiming to define the amount of impairment of Quality of Life in patients with Systemic Sclerosis and the component of this impairment due to depressive or other psychiatric symptoms. The search of the significant articles was carried out in PubMed for the key words "Psychiatric symptoms and Systemic Sclerosis"; "Quality of life and Systemic Sclerosis"; "Depressive Disorders and Systemic Sclerosis". Results: Psychiatric symptoms are frequents in patients with SSc, but pain, fatigue, disability, body changes don't appear to explain the high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in SSc. Many studies founded a significant impairment in SSc patients' QoL, and despite the undeniable correlation between physical symptoms and SSc patients' QoL, mental health was found significantly impaired. Discussion: The high rate of depression seems to strictly correlate with poor quality of life, and this finding needs more research to establish the cause of such a correlation. Patients' point of view regarding their health-related QoL could help physicians to enlarge the knowledge about physical and mental correlates of the disease, and to fit therapies as patient required. Particular attention must be given to provide the patient with correct information, in order to mitigate the anxious state on disease course, and to enhance coping skills of the patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
StatePublished - 2012


  • Depressive disorder
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Quality of life
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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