An Evaluation of the PERMA Model as a Framework for Reducing Psychiatric Comorbidity in Individuals with Alopecia Areata

Garrett E. Huck, Emre Umucu, Shaina Shelton, Dana Brickham, Susan Smedema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Alopecia areata (AA) is among the most common immunological conditions. Although AA is considered to be a medically benign condition, those living with AA often report comorbid psychiatric conditions, high levels of functional impairment, and diminished quality of life. These consequences are largely due to the unique psychological turmoil associated with the condition. Unfortunately, little research has considered how to improve quality of life outcomes for this group. Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate how the PERMA framework of well-being is associated with the individual subjective experience of AA. A greater understanding of how PERMA applies to this group holds promise for assisting clinicians with devising psychosocial coping strategies for this population. Method: 274 individuals were recruited for participation. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to evaluate associations between the PERMA variables and AA-related (a) subjective symptoms (e.g., self-consciousness, sadness) and (b) relationship impact (e.g., perceived attractiveness). Each analysis controlled for demographic and condition-specific variables. Results: Demographic and PERMA variables were found to be significantly associated with positive experiences of each quality of life outcome. Limitations: The male to female ratio of participants was biased toward females. Furthermore, the nature of cross-sectional survey research has inherent limitations. Conclusion: The findings provide support for a relationship between PERMA variables and quality of life outcomes among people with AA. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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