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Psychiatric Treatment of Eczema: A Controlled Trial

Br Med J 1971; 2 doi: (Published 26 June 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;2:729
  1. D. G. Brown,
  2. F. R. Bettley


    Seventy-two patients with eczema were randomly allotted to one of two treatment groups: A, those receiving dermatological treatment only, and B, those receiving the same dermatological treatment plus psychiatric treatment, limited where possible to four months. Cases were followed up at six-monthly dermatological assessments, 57 (79%) for 18 months. The findings suggest that in the presence of overt emotional disturbance, of new psychological or psychophysiological symptoms preceding the rash by up to a year, and of high motivation for it, brief psychiatric treatment improves the outcome in eczema (the proportion clear at 18 months was about doubled), whereas in their absence such treatment may worsen it, especially in the short term.