Association between duration of peripheral facial palsy, severity, and age of the patient, and psychological distress

Published:April 18, 2021DOI:



      Peripheral facial palsy (PFP) (paralysis) can be a devastating condition that has been shown to have associations with increased depression and worse quality of life. The aim of the present study is to better understand the complex association of psychological distress with the duration, severity, and age of patients with PFP. We hypothesize that a shorter duration of PFP is associated with higher levels of psychological distress.


      Fifty-nine patients with PFP that existed longer than 3 months were included in this study. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess the presence and severity of anxiety and depressions. Spearman's correlation analysis was used to determine correlation between psychological distress, duration, severity of the PFP, and age.


      Fifty-nine patients were included in this study, of whom 22 were male and 37 were female. The mean age was 55.6 ± 14.6 years and mean duration of PFP from onset ranged from 3 months to 35 years (with a mean duration of 5.39 ± 6.06 years). Twenty-eight patients had left-sided PFP, 30 patients had right-sided PFP, and one patient had bilateral PFP. The majority were caused by Bell's palsy (50.8%). In the group with a duration less than 5 years, there were five (12.8%) patients having a score between 11 and 15 (on HADS) compared to two (10%) patients in the group with a duration of 5 years or more(p = 0.04).


      There seems to be an association between moderate depression and duration of the PFP. Further studies need to substantiate our findings.


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