Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 14–23 | Cite as

How Does Anxiety Affect Adults with Skin Disease? Examining the Indirect Effect of Anxiety Symptoms on Impairment Through Anxiety Sensitivity

  • Laura J. DixonEmail author
  • Sara M. Witcraft
  • Megan M. Perry
Original Article


Emerging research suggests social anxiety, health anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder symptoms are particularly relevant for dermatology patients. Unfortunately, very few studies have investigated how these anxieties affect quality of life among individuals with skin disease. The aims of the present study were to characterize the rates of these anxiety syndromes among adults with active skin disease symptoms, examine correlations between anxiety and skin disease symptoms, and test the mediating role of anxiety sensitivity in skin-related impairment. A considerable number of participants (N = 237) screened positive for social anxiety disorder (62.9%), health anxiety (18.1%), and generalized anxiety disorder (32.5%). Consistent with hypothesis, each anxiety syndrome was indirectly related to skin-related impairment through anxiety sensitivity. Overall, the findings emphasize the importance of anxiety symptoms in dermatological outcomes.


Social anxiety disorder Generalized anxiety disorder Health anxiety Anxiety sensitivity Dermatology Impairment 



Laura J. Dixon was supported by the University of Mississippi College of Liberal Arts Research Grant for Faculty Research and Creative Achievement.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Laura J. Dixon, Sara M. Witcraft, and Megan M. Perry declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

Study procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board of the University of Mississippi and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA

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