I was browsing the NHS research database (as you do!) and came across this study, which I thought some of you might find interesting. It follows on from Seenie's question last week, when she asked us what we thought got in the way of our diagnoses, and some of us (me included) mentioned difficult life experiences and stress...
Title: Negative and positive life experiences in patients with psoriatic arthritis.
Citation: Rheumatology international, vol. 33, no. 6, p. 1587-1593, 1437-160X (June 2013)
Author(s): Simonić, Edita,Peternel, Sandra,Stojnić-Soša, Liliana,Rončević-Gržeta, Ika,Prpić-Massari, Larisa,Massari, Dražen,Periša, Darinka,Cabrijan, Leo,Kaštelan, Marija
Recent data suggest that childhood and adulthood stressors may play a significant role in the development of an autoimmune disease. The present study explores the relationship between psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and positive and negative life events during childhood and adulthood in psoriatic patients. Forty-five patients with psoriatic arthritis and 101 controls (patients with skin conditions considered to be "non-psychosomatic") were enrolled in the study. All participants completed a specific questionnaire measuring traumatic life experiences [Traumatic Antecedents Questionnaire (TAQ)]. The TAQ assesses positive personal experiences (competence and safety) and negative personal experiences (neglect, separation, secrets, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, trauma witnessing, other traumas and exposure to alcohol/drugs) from early childhood to adulthood. The patients with psoriatic arthritis exhibited lower mean scores of total positive experiences during late childhood (latency) as compared to the control group. Negative experiences during four developmental periods appeared more frequently in patients with psoriatic arthritis than in the controls. The most frequently reported negative experiences were neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, alcohol/drug abuse and other traumas. The present findings add evidence to the relationship between retrospectively reported childhood experiences and psoriatic arthritis. Furthermore, a high amount of reported emotional and physical abuse occurs in patients with psoriatic arthritis during latency and adolescence.