Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Quality-of-Life Impact Significant in Psoriasis: Canadian Survey Finds That Only 24% of Respondents Reported Satisfaction with Their Current Treatment

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Quality-of-Life Impact Significant in Psoriasis: Canadian Survey Finds That Only 24% of Respondents Reported Satisfaction with Their Current Treatment

Article excerpt

MONTERAL -- Moderate to severe psoriasis significantly impairs physical and psychosocial functioning and represents a potentially serious detriment to the well-being of patients, according to a survey of more than 500 Canadians with the condition.

An online survey of 514 people with moderate to severe psoriasis represents the first study of its kind to assess the medical, psychosocial, and quality of life impact of the disease in Canada. Respondents reported symptoms, severity of disease, comorbidities, and satisfaction with treatment within the previous 5 years.

Of the estimated 1 million people living with psoriasis in Canada, about 33% have moderate to severe disease. This patient population typically experiences a negative effect on quality of life and other parameters, according to previous research (Dermatology 2008;216:366-72; Dermatol. Ther. 2008;21:54-9).

Most of the published data, however, come from the United States and other countries, "so we launched this survey in Canada," Dr. Norman Wasel said.

Scaling was the leading symptom, reported by 69% of participants. "I would not have expected this to be number one," Dr. Wasel said at the annual conference of the Canadian Dermatology Association.

Skin redness (reported by 61%), itchiness / sensation of burning (51%), morning joint stiffness (35%), and discomfort in one or more joints or tendons (35%) were other leading symptoms. The mean age of respondents was 50 years.

Dr. Wasel and his associates also assessed the psychological impact of moderate to severe psoriasis: "About 9% reported not feeling concerned about their psoriasis, so the flip side is 91% are concerned."

Among the psychological findings, 66% of respondents felt self-conscious because of their psoriasis, 56% felt embarrassed, 53% felt frustration, and 52% reported that they felt unattractive.

"That is just heartbreaking," said Dr. Wasel, a dermatologist in private practice in Edmonton and a faculty member in the division of dermatology and cutaneous sciences at the University of Alberta, also in Edmonton.

Only 24% of the respondents reported satisfaction with their current treatment, he said.

A total of 61% reported current use of prescription creams, lotions, or gels; 92% reported a history of use of such products. In addition, 33% were currently using one or more over-the-counter medications for their psoriasis and 84% reported a history of such product use.

"I was surprised to learn systemic or phototherapy is only being used by 18% of moderate to severe sufferers," Dr. …

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