Psoriasis today: experiences of healthcare and impact on quality of life in a major UK cohort
Aim: To establish how people with psoriasis in the United Kingdom today experience living with their condition including diagnosis, treatment, healthcare provision and impact on daily life. Background: Psoriasis is a debilitating long-term inflammatory skin disease which can result in severe itching, discomfort and soreness, and may be associated with problems beyond the specific symptoms related to the skin. For many it is accompanied by difficult-to-manage treatment regimes, emotional distress and a negative impact on their quality of life and psychosocial functioning. To date there is little published information about the health experiences of people in the United Kingdom with psoriasis. Methods A postal self-administered questionnaire was completed by members of the Psoriasis Association and the responses analysed (n=1564). Findings The findings suggest some similarities to surveys in other nations, but specifically highlighted that patients feel under-informed and are dissatisfied with current treatment regimes. Responses provided an insight into aspects of the condition that treatments should be targeting. Specific areas of negative impact on psychosocial functioning were identified, including the lack of available support for those experiencing emotional distress. The research provides important information about how the care of patients with psoriasis can be improved, especially at primary care level. This includes: improved training in psoriasis knowledge and awareness at general practitioner level and greater use of dermatology specialist nurses in primary care settings; more effective and manageable treatment regimes that target visible areas and general well-being; greater support for emotional distress and psychosocial functioning.