Study of impact of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on lifestyle choices (SIPPA)

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Between March - July 2005 the we carried out a survey of people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The study of impact of psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis on lifestyle choices (SIPPA) was a postal survey mailed to 1500 people drawn randomly from the our database, an out-patient department and a advert in a national newspaper. The results where published in issue 22 of Skin 'n' Bones Connection in late 2005. The full article is available to download in PDF format by using the link below.

The main conclusions of the survey were as follows:

It is clear that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have a major impact on the lifestyles of those who responded to this survey. Other studies have also shown impact on quality of life. Although, it would be safe to assume that those who are motivated to complete a survey, contact a support organisation or belong to a charity may be at the more severe end of the disease spectrum, these results also included answers from individuals who are not as physically affected but have some form of psychological impact.

Early diagnosis and appropriate interventions must still be a key to long term positive outcomes

Education of healthcare providers is still perceived to be low

Awareness should be more visible but positive

Encouragingly many people cope well and do not let the conditions affect their lifestyle choices

Psychological impact should not be underestimated, physical disease severity is only one aspect

Given the range of needs and the way psoriatics cope and manage disease and the way in which it is portrayed within the media, providing positive management and coping mechanisms for individuals that allow individuals to feel comfortable and less stigmatised by disease appears to be a positive approach. It may be more effective to help individuals than try to change general population attitudes; the medical professional and healthcare providers must play a key role in developing a good communication and management with greater involvement of the patient. The survey also included people who were not being seen by anyone for disease management, given that both diseases are chronic and life long and in the case of psoriatic arthritis potentially disabling, careful consideration needs to be given to helping these individuals to be able to gain access to care as and when needed.

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