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A Psychometric Study of Patients with Nail Dystrophies

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A Psychometric Study of Patients with Nail Dystrophies
Murad Alam MD, Meena Moossavi MD, Iona Ginsburg MD, Richard K. Scher MD
Dermatology Online Journal 7(1): 23A

Departments of Dermatology and Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York


The purpose of this study was to determine which types of psychologic distress may be correlated with dystrophic disease of the nail in non-psychiatric patients.


57 adult subjects presenting for treatment of nail dystrophies completed a survey instrument, which included five psychometric measures.


On average, patients rated the severity of their nail dystrophy and functional deficit higher (7.40/10 and 6.00) than investigators (6.15 and 3.75). Compared to age- and sex-matched non-psychiatric patients, subjects in the study were moderately more anxious and minimally to mildly more depressed.. Subjects had moderately depressed total self-concept, but their body image was approximately normal. Overall, subjects exhibited markedly more severe psychologic symptoms (84th percentile) than the normal sample, with the scores on the psychoticism, obsessive-compulsive, and paranoid ideation subscales being the most elevated.


The subjects with nail dystrophy had markedly exacerbated psychological symptoms compared to age- and sex-matched non-psychiatric patients.

© 2001 Dermatology Online Journal