Objective: Dermatomyositis (DM) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, decreased quality of life, and an increased incidence of psychiatric illness. We performed a pilot study to investigate whether concern about malignancy contributes to the psychosocial toll of DM. Method: Patients with a recent DM diagnosis at our institution between 2013 and 2018 and no history of DM-associated malignancy completed standardized questionnaires and a novel survey generated by our group, and participated in focus groups. Results: Seventeen patients (14 females and three males) completed the surveys. The mean Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) score was 2.75. The mean score on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was 5.35, with a range of 0–20. Our independent DM-specific questionnaire revealed a mean of 17.41 (range 2–40). Conclusion: Concern about the increased risk of malignancy contributes to the psychosocial toll of DM. Individual impacts are highly variable and patient specific. Clinicians should assess for depression and anxiety in patients with DM, understanding that concern for malignancy adds to the total psychosocial burden in some patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy