Background Alexithymia as a radical in the structure of premorbid personality is attracting the attention of researchers as one of the possible psychological risk factors in the development of psychosomatic disorders in rheumatic diseases. Clinical experience supports the evidence of the relevance of alexithymia conception in relation to the many somatic patients, who show a limited ability to describe and differentiate emotion and create fantasies, and hence indicate the role of alexithymia phenomenon in the pathogenesis of psychosomatic disorders in SLE.
Objectives To study the relationship of the levels of alexithymia with other clinico-psychological characteristics.
Methods 87 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was surveyed with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS).
Results According to the results obtained, SLE patients demonstrated a high level of alexithymia (73,86±2,6 points). The results of the research showed that the level of alexithymia, on one hand, does not depend upon gender, age, character and activity of the pathological process (p>0.05). On the other hand, there was a significant inverse correlation between alexithymia and the level of the patient's education (r = -0,42 p=0.031). Moreover, internality in interpersonal interaction (r = -0,44 p=0.028), and significant direct correlation with indicators such as, the disease duration (r = -0, 46 at p=0.01), the intensity of neurotic disorders (asthenia (r = -0,42 p=0.033), depression (r = -0,52 p=0.006), anxiety (r =0.43 p=0.028), hypochondriasis (r = -0,48 p=0.01), as well as psychological defense mechanism “Regression” (r =0,42 p=0,022).
Conclusions Therefore, between the development of alexithymia in SLE patients and certain clinico-psychological characteristics, a particular association exists which provides a definite step for psychotherapeutic interventions aimed at correcting alexithymia personality traits of SLE patients.
Disclosure of Interest None declared