Aims. To explore the depression level of a group of vitiligo patients in Singapore and to identify factors associated with depression. Background. Unlike most internal illness, skin disease is often immediately visible to others and therefore people suffers from dermatological conditions may suffer psychological consequences. Design. A descriptive survey was conducted during the period October 2009-August 2010 in Singapore; 145 vitiligo patients aged 21+ completed a structured questionnaire. Methods. Three main outcome variables were employed in the study: demographic characteristics, clinical and psychosocial outcomes. Results. Among the patients, 17·2% (n=25) had been identified as depressed. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify a model to predict vitiligo patients who will have depression. The results showed that females (p=0·05), aged below 50years old (p=0·016), having 5+ years of illness (p=0·021) and with low self-esteem (p=0·002) and poor quality of life scores (p=0·004) were significant risk factors for depression. Conclusion. Providing a suitable health care consultation for vitiligo patients may reduces depressive symptoms and maintaining their psychological health may be crucial for preventing suffering from depressive symptoms. Apart from the findings, these conclusions resonate with recent Singapore guidance on managing depression in vitiligo patients. This stresses the importance of prevention, early detection and stepped care with a multifaceted approach to management. Relevance to clinical practice. It is important to regularly screen for depressive symptoms among vitiligo patients. Focusing on vitiligo patients with enhancing self-esteem and improving quality of life should help in both the prevention and recognition of onset of depression among vitiligo patients.
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