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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2014 Nov 04

language: English

IRIS: methodological assessment of psychopathological disease in a cohort of hirsute women

Javor S. 1, Manieri C. 2, Schiavetti I. 3, Gallo F. 3, Lombardi G. 4, Carboni I. 5, Fabbrocini G. 6, Piantanida E. 7, Motta C. 8, Pucci A. 9, Cecchini M. E. 10, Padova G. 11, Lanzi R. 12, Scagliola P. 13, Gambera A. 13, Castellano E. 2, Parodi A. 1

1 DiSSal Section of Dermatology, University of Genoa, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino, IST, Genoa, Italy;
2 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, A.O. S.Giovanni Battista, Turin, Italy;
3 University of Genoa, Biostatistics Unit, Department of Health Sciences (DiSSal), Genoa, Italy;
4 Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and Oncology, Naples, Italy;
5 Department of Dermatology, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Italy;
6 Dermatology Clinic, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy;
7 Department of Clinical Medicine, Endocrinology, University of Insubria, Varese, Como, Italy;
8 Endocrinology, Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sant'Andrea Hospital, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy;
9 Department of Endocrinology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy;
10 Department of Endocrinology, Internal Medicine, S. Chiara Hospital, Trento, Italy;
11 Department of Endocrinology, Garibaldi Nesima Hospital, Catania, Italy;
12 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy;
13 Department of Gynecological Endocrinology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy


Hirsutism in females can be a source of considerable psychological distress and a threat to female identity. The aim of our study was to evaluate a possible relationship between facial, total body hair involvement and physical, mental and social well-­being during 12 months of follow-­up and treatment. Both objective and subjective methods of evaluating hirsutism were used: the Ferriman–Gallwey scoring method and the questionnaires GHQ-­12, PCOSQ and SF-­12. The total of 469 female patients (mean age 27.61±7.63 years) was enrolled in 27 Italian centres participating in this study. Higher total body score was correlated to significant emotional discomfort. The correlation between the FG total body score, the facial score and physical/mental health was found to be significant in all the patients assessed by SF-­12 questionnaire. The ongoing reduction of GHQ-­12 score was found for the facial FG score at the first follow-­up (T0-­T1 period) and at the second one (T0-­T2). No relationship was found between T1 and T2. At both six (T1) and twelve months (T2) follow-­up an increase of PCOSQ score (psychological improvement) was accompanied by a concomitant reduction of the FG score (reduction of hirsutism). Physical health assessed by SF-­12 questionnaire does not change at both six and twelve months’ follow-­up, but mental health decreased at both T1 and T2.
The clinical improvement was achieved at six months regardless on treatment used and it was maintained for the next six-­month’s follow-­up. The clinical outcome could be assessed both by Ferriman-­Gallwey score both through questionnaires administrated to each patient with hirsutism. For the evaluation of psychopathological discomfort the most appropriate questionnaire was GHQ-­12, because of it major sensitivity to identify the psychological discomfort in the hirsutism.

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