The indirect effect of a focus group for psoriatic patients on their caregivers

  • Antonella Demma | Aetos, Scuola di Specializzazione in Psicoterapia, Venezia, Italy.
  • Caterina Suitner Department of Psychology of Development and Socialization, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
  • Emilia Ferruzza Department of Psychology of Development and Socialization, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
  • Chiara Nicolini S.I.P.P., Società Italiana di Psicoterapia Psicoanalitica, Milano, Italy.
  • Massimo Donini Operative Unit of Dermatology, Ulss 3 Serenissima, Venezia, Italy.


Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease involving not only epidermic damages but also psychological distress for patients and their family caregivers. Little is known about the effects of a psychological support for psoriatic patients on their caregivers’ well-being. The goal of the present study was to investigate the indirect effects of the participation in a dynamic focus group reserved for psoriatic patients on their caregivers in terms of quality of life. The study involved 52 psoriatic patients and 41 family caregivers. Patients’ wellbeing was assessed using the dermatology quality of life index, hospital anxiety and depression scale. The impact of the disease on caregivers was assessed using the family dermatology life quality index (FDLQI). Data were analyzed with linear mixed models. The caregivers of psoriatic patients involved in the psychodynamic focus group reported levels of FDLQI that decreased over time, therefore showing an improvement in their quality of life in relation to the pathology of their relatives; the caregivers of patients who did not participate in the psychodynamic focus group, instead, had levels of FDLQI that were stable over time. The results provide preliminary evidence that the group setting of the Psychodynamic Focus Group may alleviate the negative impact of psychosomatic disease on the caregivers.



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Psoriasis, psychodynamic focus group, family caregiver, family dermatology life quality index.
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How to Cite
Demma, A., Suitner, C., Ferruzza, E., Nicolini, C., & Donini, M. (2021). The indirect effect of a focus group for psoriatic patients on their caregivers. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 24(1).