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  • PURPOSE: Lipoedema is a progressive adipose (fat) disorder, and little is known about its psychological effect. This study aimed to determine the experiences of physical and mental health and health care across stages of lipoedema. METHODS: Cross-sectional, secondary data from an anonymous survey (conducted 2014-2015) in Dutch and English in those with self-reported lipoedema were used (N = 1,362, Mdnage = 41-50 years old, 80.2% diagnosed). χ2 analyses of categorical data assessed lipoedema stage groups 'Stage 1-2' (N = 423), 'Stages 3-4' (N = 474) and 'Stage Unknown' (N = 406) experiences of health (physical and psychological), and health care. RESULTS: Compared to 'Stage 1-2', 'Stage 3-4' reported more loss of mobility (p =  < .001), pain (p =  < .001), fatigue (p = .002), problems at work (p =  < .001) and were seeking treatment to improve physical functioning (p =  < .001) more frequently. 'Stage 3-4' were more likely to report their GP did not have knowledge of lipoedema, did not take them seriously, gave them diet and lifestyle advice, dismissed lipoedema, and treated them 'badly' due to overweight/lipoedema compared to 'Stage 1-2' (p =  < .001). 'Stage 3-4' were more likely to report depression (p =  < .001), emotional lability (p = .033) eating disorders (p = .018) and feeling lonelier, more fearful, and stayed at home more (p =  < .001) and less likely to have visited a psychologist (p =  < .001) compared to 'Stage 1-2'. CONCLUSIONS: A divergent pattern of physical and psychological experiences between lipoedema stages reflects physical symptom differences and differences in psychological symptoms and health care experiences. These findings increase the understanding of lipoedema symptoms to inform psychological supports for women with lipoedema in navigating chronic health care management.

  • Background: Lipedema is a chronic and progressive adipose tissue disorder that causes significant morbidity and negatively influences mental health and quality of life, and increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. One construct of relevance to better understanding psychological disorders is emotion regulation (ER). Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the difficulties in ER among lipedema patients compared to healthy people without lipedema. Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed differences in ER and anxiety between two groups: 26 female patients with lipedema and 26 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) assessed emotional regulation across six dimensions: Impulse control, goal-directed behavior, awareness, clarity, non-acceptance, and strategies. Anxiety was assessed by the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A). ANOVA assessed differences in measures between lipedema and healthy control groups. Results: Lipedema patients presented with significantly more difficulties in ER and a higher level of anxiety than those without lipedema. Specifically, the lipedema group showed higher and significant differences in total DERS and anxiety scores and all DERS subscales scores compared to those without lipedema. Conclusions: Lipedema patients showed significant difficulties with ER, and were associated with anxiety symptoms, indicating that ER difficulties may play a role in developing emotional disorders, such as anxiety, for patients with lipedema. The health care provider should pay more attention to ER difficulties and psychological status among lipedema patients.

Last update from database: 7/21/24, 7:38 AM (UTC)


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