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Effects of psychologic intervention on psoriasis.

15 Aug

That dynamic Danish research machine from Aarhus University, R. Zachariae, the same fellow who brought you scores of studies about the effects of hypnosis and imagery on reactions to poison ivy, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and other histamine and autoimmune afflictions, also did a nice study with psoriasis. We get a lot of questions about psoriasis and imagery, so we’re pleased to show you this: Fifty-one patients with psoriasis vulgaris were randomly assigned to a treatment group (where they got 7 individual sessions over 12 weeks, learning stress management, guided imagery and relaxation skills) or a control group. All subjects were measured on the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI), Total Sign Score (TSS) and Laser Doppler Skin Blood Flow (LDBF) at weeks #4, #8 and after treatment was completed. The treatment group showed slight but significant changes in TSS and LDBF. The control group did not. With more in depth analysis, investigators found that the treatment group indeed displayed significant reductions for all three psoriasis activity measures, whereas no changes were found in the controls. The study concludes that behavioral training may produce moderate improvement on this condition.

Citation: Zachariae R, Oster H, Bjerring P, Kragballe K. Effects of psychologic intervention on psoriasis: a preliminary report. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 1996. June;34(6): 1008-1015.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award