Psychologic factors in scleroderma

Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite, Leslie J. Heinberg, Lynanne McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


CB interventions have been shown to reduce pain and improve psychosocial functioning in patients who have chronic illnesses, particularly chronically painful rheumatologic syndromes. These interventions are typically administered by specially trained professionals and are conducted during weekly individual or group sessions. When focused on pain and chronic illness, these interventions seem to have, at best, small effects on depression. Data from the headache literature and recent data about patients who have dental/facial pain indicate that minimal-contact CB therapy, the combination of some professional contact with audiotaped and written materials, may reduce pain in many patients, but the impact on functioning is less clear. Future studies should examine the impact of CB interventions on pain, depression, concerns about disfigurement, and physical and psychosocial functioning in scleroderma. Such knowledge is necessary for the optimal care of persons who have this debilitating illness. Although complicated, the advent of disease-specific interventions that are administered by way of the Internet [64,72] may prove particularly useful in a rare illness, such as scleroderma. Psychologic factors with demonstrated relevance to scleroderma include pain, depression, and distress about disfigurement, physical function, and social function. Although these dimensions of quality of life are interrelated, pain, depression, and distress about disfigurement are common and may respond to psychologic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-439
Number of pages13
JournalRheumatic Disease Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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