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Comment & Response
June 2018

Knowledge Removes Discomfort

Author Affiliations
  • 1N Paulescu Institute, Bucharest, Romania
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(6):738-739. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0852

To the Editor McDonald et al1 wrote an interesting piece regarding screening for depression among dermatology patients, raising pressing issues and questions that warrant discussion and may interest the readership of JAMA Dermatology.

1. Could the authors clearly define psychiatric disorder in general and depression in particular? Dermatology patients are frequently emotionally distressed, without necessarily having a psychiatric disorder, so there may be the need for clear definitions of these terms as guidance. This clarity would prevent overdiagnosis or underdiagnosis by dermatologists (and other specialists), whose primary field is not psychiatry. The literature suggests that, while dermatologists may recognize psychocutaneous diseases, they may neither recognize nor feel able to confidently diagnose psychiatric disorders.2,3