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Psoriasis Academy

Psoriasis Management

Read time: 45 mins
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects approximately 2% of the population and, in the majority of cases, presents with disfiguring, scaling and erythematous plaques of the skin. It is defined by the World Health Organization as a chronic, non-communicable, painful, disfiguring and disabling disease (WHO, 2014). 

This section of the Psoriasis Academy will provide an overview of all aspects of disease management, including its burden on patients and healthcare resources, unmet needs that have been identified, and the role of different assessment tools in classifying severity and determining treatment response.

Burden of disease

Moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (with or without psoriatic arthritis) places significant social, physical and emotional burden on patients’ lives. (Pariser et al., 2016; Korman et al., 2016). Despite treatment, many patients with psoriasis continue to experience clinical symptoms and impaired functioning (Schaefer et al., 2015).

Alongside the significant impact on patient’s quality of life, psoriasis also impacts utilisation of healthcare resources, associated costs and work productivity (Pariser et al., 2016; Korman et al., 2016).

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Unmet needs

Despite significant advances and the wide-ranging availability of many different options for the treatment of psoriasis, there are still considerable unmet needs in the field. Such unmet needs may be preventing many patients from achieving long term control of this chronic condition.

Patient-oriented care requires that therapy is aligned with the patients’ needs/treatment goals. The German Psoriasis registry (PsoBest) has demonstrated that the majority of patients with moderate to severe psoriasis aspire to a normal everyday life with a low treatment burden (Blome et al., 2016).

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Diagnosis and identification

There are several ways of assessing psoriasis. According to guidelines the most established parameter in measuring the severity of skin symptoms in psoriasis is the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI), which represents a necessary first step in selecting a treatment strategy and provides valuable feedback in measuring long term response to treatment. (Pathirana et al., 2009). A PASI 75 response is now widely accepted as a clinically meaningful improvement.

However, despite the various tools available, there is no definitively accepted definition of what encompasses mild, moderate or severe psoriasis. 

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