Measuring adjustment to chronic skin disorders: validation of a self-report measure.
Stangier U., Ehlers A., Gieler U.
This article describes the development of a questionnaire that assesses problems in adapting to chronic skin disorders, the Adjustment to Chronic Skin Diseases Questionnaire. Patients (N = 442) with different skin disorders completed the original item pool. Principal-components analysis suggested a 6-factor solution that was largely replicated with 2 additional samples of 192 patients with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis and 165 patients with atopic dermatitis. Four of the subscales showed very good internal consistencies, retest reliabilities, and sufficient correlations with expert ratings: Social Anxiety/Avoidance, Itch-Scratch Cycle, Helplessness, and Anxious-Depressive Mood. Two short additional subscales, Impact on Quality of Life and Deficit in Active Coping, showed moderate internal consistencies, but good retest reliabilities. Correlations of the subscales with measures of depression, anxiety, and coping, and meaningful differences between dermatological subgroups support their construct validity. A treatment study showed that changes in some of the subscales correlated with changes in the severity of the skin condition.