Behavioral characteristics in infants with Atopic Dermatitis

Document Type : Research Paper



This is an old presumption that atopic syndromes including asthma, hay fever and atopic dermatitis (AD) may have a psychological component that may manifest itself either before, during or after the physical manifestations of atopic but few controlled studies have been conducted to show this possible correlation and their results have shown some contradictions and different conclusions. The aim of this study was to compare the behavioral characteristics of infants with atopic dermatitis (AD) with normal control group.
Methods and Material: the behavioral characteristics of 30 infants (3-12 months old) with atopic dermatitis (AD) were compared with 40 matched controls. We used infant Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ), version/2000, that has a total of 145 questions for measuring the following scales: Distress to limitation, Fear, Duration of orienting, Smiling & laughter, High pleasure, low pleasure, Soothability, Rate of recovery from distress, Perceptual sensitivity, Sadness and Approach (11 scales). The Questionnaires were completed by the parents or the infants care givers, supervised by the author.
Results: There was no significant difference between the two groups in the Fearfulness, Duration of orienting, Smiling & Laughter, Sadness and Low & High pleasure. But Rate of recovery from distress was significantly higher in infants with AD(P= 0.05). There was also significant excess of Distress to Limitation (P=0.05) and Soothability (P=0.01) in infants with AD than in control group. The score of Approach & Perceptual Sensitivity were also shown to be significantly higher in AD group.
Conclusions: Infants with atopic dermatitis are shown to have higher perceptual sensitivity to environmental stimuli and express more pleasure and enjoyment to rapid, more complex, novel or intense stimuli. Infants with AD also show frequently more excitement and rapid approach compared with none atopic infants.