Without information about the possible severity of their condition, patients with psoriasis may not adhere to treatment, which could lead to worse outcomes.
A recent study examined the effect of an educational program on knowledge and self-expertise about psoriasis for patients with the disease.
Psoriasis is associated with reduced quality of life in patients with severe disease, who are at risk for cardiovascular events, metabolic issues, and other immune-mediated disorders. Without information about the possible severity of their condition, patients with psoriasis may not adhere to treatment, which could lead to worse outcomes.
Patients with psoriasis who saw their physician regularly were asked to participate and fill out 2 questionnaires. They were asked about their disease knowledge and used a rating scale of 0 to 10 to rank their expertise about the disease, therapy adherence, and therapy satisfaction. The Dermatology Life Quality Index was also used. One questionnaire was given at the beginning and one at the next regular visit or after the educational program.
Out of 53 participants, 24 chose to be educated and 29 were in the control group; the control group filled out the same questionnaires but did not take part in the educational sessions.
The educational session consisted of 2 workshops lasting 2 hours each; the first workshop discussed the details of the etiology, pathogenesis, comorbidities, and treatment options for psoriasis, while the second part included information about nutrition, exercise, and addiction.
When asked about comorbidities, 26.9% of participants said they had none. The most frequently reported comorbidity was hypertension, at 36.5%, followed by psoriatic arthritis (34%), allergies (32.7%), depression (21.3%), and hypercholesterolemia (21.2%). Of note, two-thirds of the group were current or former smokers.
The older group had a higher percentage of women, patients with longer disease, and patients with comorbidities such as psoriatic arthritis. Patients 50 years or older had a higher adherence to therapy and knowledge right from the start of the study.
The authors said that the educated patients showed a significant increase in knowledge, self-expertise about their disease, and general health after the program. However, the education program did not have an effect on the improvement in quality of life or outcomes; the researchers said the short observation period of the study might account for that result.
The researchers also sought to study the effect of the questionnaires when looking at age and disease duration. The educational program led to a significant improvement in patients 50 years and older in terms of their emotional well-being; the educational program also showed a positive improvement in patients with a longer disease duration.
Bubak C, Schaarschmidt ML, Schöben L, Peitsch WK, Schmieder A. Assessing the value of an educational program for psoriasis patients: a perspective control study. BMC Public Health. 2019;19(1):1535. doi: 10.1186/s12889-019-7778-x.