LEO Pharma has funded the first truly large scale international study informed by both qualitative and quantitative data to investigate the impact of psoriasis
The findings reveal a need for a holistic approach to psoriasis management, identifying specific questions to uncover psychosocial and adherence issues
The research, published online in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology on the 13th May 2013, included a quantitative online survey completed by 1,884 patients with psoriasis who were using prescription medications. Most patients reported that psoriasis has a moderate to severe impact on their lives.
People living with psoriasis experience flare-ups that can result in the appearance of thick, red, scaly skin lesions on any part of their body. The skin is often sore and itchy but the current study emphasizes that the psychological impact of psoriasis can have an even greater impact on patients’ everyday lives.
Factors analysed in the research included the influence of symptom burden, healthcare professional (HCP) relationships, patient factors and the psychosocial impact of psoriasis on how much the patient’s psoriasis “dictates how they live their life”. Factors that were most strongly associated dealt with daily activities, stigmatisation, isolation and feelings of hopelessness, as well as visible symptoms. However, diagnosed symptom severity was not a significant indicator1.
Commenting on the research Dr Anthony Bewley, Whipps Cross University Hospital & Barts & the London NHS Trust, UK, said, “The reality for patients is that the reactions of other people, real or perceived, can make life a real struggle. We need to ensure that we actively question our patients about these issues, and modify management accordingly.”
The study also identified high levels of non-adherence among participants, along with unrealistic expectations of treatment effects1. This highlights that on-going, constructive discussions of non-adherence and its causes should take place between patients and HCPs to help improve treatment outcomes.
“The physical, psychological and social effects of psoriasis can have a serious impact on people’s lives,” said LEO Pharma President and CEO Gitte P. Aabo. “To give people with psoriasis the best chance of improving their quality of life, we need to address the issues that affect them individually. This research will help healthcare professionals to learn more about the impact that psoriasis has on individuals’ lives, empower patients to be more involved in their own care, and hence inform and help evolve the way the disease is treated.”