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Comment & Response
June 15, 2017

Importance of Reporting Duration of Facial Paralysis in Studies of Emotion and Well-being

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Madison
  • 2Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. Published online June 15, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2017.0846

To the Editor We are grateful for the recent publication from Johns Hopkins University bringing attention to the association among facial paralysis (FP), depression, and quality of life. Nellis et al1 found that 42.1% of patients with facial paralysis screened positive for depression, having significantly higher Beck Depression Inventory scores than control patients. Those with a worse degree of paralysis (House-Brackmann grade ≥3) were significantly more likely to screen positive when controlling for female sex. Absent from logistic regression analysis was paralysis duration. Although the authors acknowledge this limitation, we wish to elaborate on the importance of measuring duration of FP. It is plausible that duration moderates the effect of FP on depression. We suggest this is related to the tendency to mispredict the impact of present and future emotion states on well-being.

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