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An Evaluation of Anxiety Disorder and Emotion Regulation Difficulty in Children and Adolescents with Alopecia Areata.

Context: The relationship between alopecia areata (AA) and emotion regulation difficulty has not yet been fully explained.

Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate the levels of anxiety and emotion regulation difficulty in children diagnosed with AA.

Settings and Design: This case-control study was done in the university setting.

Methods: Behavioral tests measuring anxiety and emotion regulation difficulties, and the measures assessing AA severity were applied to 32 AA patients consulted at Dermatology Clinic of Yozgat Bozok University. A control group was formed of 36 healthy children.

Statistical Analysis Used: Kolmogorov-Smirnov normality test, Mann-Whitney U test and Pearson's and Fisher's Chi-square tests and Spearman's correlation test.

Results: Evaluation was made of a total of 68 subjects (32 patients, 36 healthy subjects). The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS)-total score and the DERS-clarity subscore were statistically significantly higher in the control group than in the patient group ( P = 0.021, P = 0.003, respectively). No significant difference was determined between the two groups in respect of anxiety levels. No correlation was determined between disease severity and the scales. It was determined that as disease duration increased, so the DERS-non-acceptance subscale score increased, and with an increase in age, the SAI score of the AA patients increased. The DERS-impulse subscale score was seen to be statistically significantly higher in the boys with AA than in girls ( P = 0.030).

Conclusions: The results of this study showed that a visible, chronic, recurrent disease such as AA is not always seen with high psychiatric comorbidity and that together with the presence of the disease, patient age and disease duration are also important. It can be considered that AA may have been affected by the location, time and conditions of the study.

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