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Mindfulness as predictor of itch catastrophizing in patients with atopic dermatitis: eesults of a cross-sectional questionnaire study

Lüßmann, K., Montgomery, K., Thompson, A. ORCID:, Gieler, U., Zick, C., Kupfer, J. and Schut, C. 2021. Mindfulness as predictor of itch catastrophizing in patients with atopic dermatitis: eesults of a cross-sectional questionnaire study. Frontiers in Medicine 8 , 627611. 10.3389/fmed.2021.627611

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Itch and worry about itch are predominant symptoms in atopic dermatitis (AD). Mindfulness refers to paying attention in a certain way, non-judgementally and on purpose. In patients with chronic pain, which shares several similarities with chronic itch, a significant relationship between pain intensity, mindfulness and pain catastrophizing has been found. The aim of this study was to investigate whether itch intensity and mindfulness are related to itch catastrophizing in AD patients. Participants receiving treatment for AD (n = 155; 58 male; mean age: 46.5 ± 12 years) completed measures of itch-related catastrophizing (Itch Cognitions Questionnaire; ICQ) and mindfulness (Comprehensive Inventory of Mindfulness; CHIME) during their stay at a rehabilitation center in Borkum, Germany. In addition to other variables, their average itch intensity during the last 2 weeks was assessed by means of a visual analog scale. A positive relationship between itch intensity and itch catastrophizing was found (r = 0.409; p < 0.01). Moreover, the mindfulness scales “acting with awareness,” “accepting and non-judgemental orientation,” and “non-reactive orientation” were negatively related to itch catastrophizing. A linear regression analysis revealed that itch intensity in combination with “acting with awareness” was able to explain more than 27 % (corrected R2 = 0.274; p < 0.001) of the variance of itch catastrophizing. Thus, itch intensity and certain facets of mindfulness were associated with itch catastrophizing in AD patients. Psychological interventions aiming to increase acting with awareness might have a buffering effect on itch catastrophizing, which in turn could lead to lower itch intensity in patients with AD. Future RCTs should test this hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 2296-858X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 19 February 2021
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 05:55

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