The eTIPs study

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The eTIPs study: the effects of psychological support to manage psoriasis.
  
Why do people with psoriasis need psychological support?

Psoriasis affects 2-3% of people in the UK and can create physical and psychological distress. Psychological discomfort is made worse by the visible nature of the condition. Many people feel or may feel reluctant to expose parts of their body affected with psoriasis, and therefore tend to cover up with long sleeves, trousers, polo necks etc. even during hot weather spells.

It is well known that some people avoid social interactions and activities they once enjoyed (eg. swimming). This can all lead to more psychological distress – feeling down, anxiety, stress, worry, negative thinking, low self esteem, and difficulties with coping. Although, not everyone feels the same.

It can be difficult to tackle these feelings alone, and generally services for people with psoriasis do not include emotional or psychological support. The University of Manchester (departments of clinical psychology and dermatology) have embarked on a PAPAA funded study to help people manage psoriasis better. They have designed a program, known as e-TIPS (electronic-Targeted Intervention for Psoriasis), which will provide a web-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) programme for people with psoriasis. CBT is a widely used approach in psychology and aims to help us understand that the way we think about a situation (the cognitive element in CBT) can affect the way we feel and the way we behave.

About eTIPs

This study which begins recruiting people in the autumn 2008 will run until December 2009. It aims to reduce psychological distress and improve psoriasis, help with coping and managing psoriasis better, improve quality of life, and increase feelings of confidence and positive thinking.

It will be delivered on-line so that it is widely available, and can reach out to individuals who may not wish to discuss psychological complaints face-to-face. Another benefit of using the internet is that participants can take part at their own convenience and in the privacy of their own home, and can also work at their own pace.

Participants will complete the web-based therapy over a six week period and will be required to complete questionnaires at 3 or 4 different time points (including a six month follow-up). Participation is voluntary and available to all eligible people as long as individuals have been diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, are 16 years or over, have working knowledge of the English language, and have internet access.

University of Manchester research team: Professor Christopher Griffiths, Professor Nicholas Tarrier, Dr Christine Bundy, Ms Binder Kaur, Dr Sandra Bucci.

If you are interested in being consider for the trial contact: Binder Kaur on 0161 3060422 or etips@manchester.ac.uk

The trial is open to UK residents who fulfil the inclusion criteria.We cannot guarantee that everyone will be included immediately, as allocation will be randomised.