Dermatology and Psychosomatics / Dermatologie und Psychosomatik
Original Article · Originalarbeit
Observations during Itch-Inducing LectureNiemeier V. · Gieler U.
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Itching is a subjective symptom which is reported to occur in 75% of all skin diseases. Although repeatedly postulated, psychological correlations with itching have rarely been investigated. In cooperation with a public television company which prepared a scientific program on itching, interested persons were invited to participate in a public lecture: ‘Itching – what’s behind it?’. The aim of the lecturers was to initially present an itch-inducing lecture to the still uninformed audience, followed by a neutral verbal and visual stimulation to feel comfortable. Accordingly, the first part included slides that induce itching, while the second part showed slides that induce relaxation and sense of well-being. At the same time, the listeners’ tactile reactions were recorded by television cameras all around to allow rating of the scratch impulses. In an ABA design could be shown that itching measured by self-rating scales (n = 24) could be induced by the itch-inducing verbal and visual intervention. The frequency of scratching recorded by the television cameras was evaluated independently by two raters. The t-test confirmed a significant mean difference in the expected direction. In total, this study confirms the previous assumption that itching can be induced by psychic factors.
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