Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare, severe connective tissue disease without available universal treatment. Organ involvement increases the mortality of this disease; nevertheless, skin involvement and the involvement of muscles and joints lead to loss of function, disability, and reduced quality of life.
Part of the book: Systemic Sclerosis
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare, chronic connective tissue disease with characteristic fibrosis of the skin, musculoskeletal system, and internal organs. It is a heterogeneous and polymorphic disorder, in which fatigue, sleep disturbances, stiffness, and joint pain are among the most significant clinical symptoms. However, the presence of stiffening and thickening of the skin usually has a negative impact on the appearance of these patients, and the degree of self-dissatisfaction can fundamentally interfere with their personality. Self-consciousness and self-conception of the patient, accompanied by depression, can also be affected. Thus we cannot regard this disease and approach it only from a biomedical point of view and should not underestimate the approach to the psychosocial nature of the treatment. Biological, psychological, and social factors are interconnected, and imbalances in their complex interactions disrupt health and cause or worsen the disease. That is why it is necessary to create a so-called biopsychosocial comfort of an individual with SSc and to develop a number of activities in the sense of a complex treatment. This chapter focuses on the psychosomatic approach to health and illness and the development of the biopsychosocial model in medicine just as it should be used in patients with SSc.
Part of the book: New Insights into Systemic Sclerosis