Survey results for
Ahead of the launch of our free psoriasis support programme, we wanted to learn more about how people cope with this common skin condition. Despite psoriasis currently being incurable for roughly 2% of the population who have it, there are many different treatment options on the market to help manage the condition. Lifestyle changes have also been shown to help improve people’s lives with the condition.
Worldwide, approximately 125 million people have psoriasis, according to the World Psoriasis Day consortium, and studies have shown that between 10% and 30% of people with the autoimmune disease develop psoriatic arthritis as well. Psoriatic arthritis is a long-term and progressive condition that can lead to any of the body's joints becoming inflamed, stiff, and painful. It typically affects the hands, feet, knees, neck, spine and elbows which, in severe cases, may require surgical treatment.
No less than 514 people completed our psoriasis survey between August and November 2018. While three quarters (74%) said they had psoriasis themselves, over a quarter (26%) care for someone living with the skin condition.
Time with psoriasis
More than half (52%) have experienced psoriasis for more than ten years, while a roughly equal number of those surveyed (21% and 19%) have had it for either two to five years or between five to ten years. Less than one in ten (8%) have lived with it for under two years. Over half of the people (56%) who took this survey indicated that they classified their psoriasis as moderate in severity. For the rest, 26% said it was mild and 16% as severe.
Treating the condition
Of those people who stated they were satisfied with their treatment, 21% were very satisfied, 39% moderately so, 35% somewhat satisfied, while only 5% were dissatisfied.
Our survey asked people what treatments they are currently using for their psoriasis. Suitable treatments vary from person to person, but emollients/moisturisers topped the list with 71%, followed by topical prescription treatment at 50%. The remaining choices were oral prescription treatments at 8.5%, and both phototherapy/light therapy and biologics on 4%. However, 6% of people are not using a treatment at all.
Of course, no matter what types of treatment people prefer, the regularity at which they use it varies from person to person. Interestingly, only 41% of our survey respondents admit to “using treatment regularly as prescribed or instructed to do”, while a slightly greater number (44%) say they are “fairly thorough but sometimes forget to use treatment” and 15% admit to being “not very thorough and often forget to use treatment”.
Seeing a GP
When asked when the last time they visited their GP specifically about their psoriasis was, answers were spread across the board. While 11% selected over five years ago, 17% chose more than one year ago. Similar numbers of people saw their GP in the past year (14%) or in the past six months (13%), and 18% opted for ‘within the last 3 months’ and 17% in the past month.
However, 52% of respondents revealed that healthcare professionals do not give them the information they need to manage their condition before their next appointment, and the same percentage felt that their GP doesn’t take psoriasis seriously by helping to get or keep it under control. In addition, 70% added that their GP hasn’t provided the right information to manage and understand psoriasis better.
It’s well known that psoriasis can affect people’s confidence and wellbeing. Our survey found that it made 33% of respondents “not very confident” and 36% “somewhat confident”. Over one in ten (12%) said it “doesn’t affect confidence at all” and 18% are still “moderately confident”. In a related topic, psoriasis impacts the social life and lifestyle of 23% of those surveyed “a lot”. It “often impacts” and “sometimes impacts” 29% and 38% respectively, whereas 10% aren’t impacted at all.
Free support programme for psoriasis
A large majority (81%) stated that they would be interested in having a specific support programme that is condition- rather than treatment-focused, and that also gives hints and tips and practical guidance. And 87% believe that their GP should be able to provide them with such a programme.
The response to a talkhealth support programme was very positive. In the new year, talkhealth will launch the mypsoriasis support programme.
Our talkpsoriasis forum is always open to give you the opportunity to discuss and share your personal experiences and support others who are living with the very real physical and emotional issues surrounding psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis.
If you're interested in a detailed analysis of the results for these surveys please contact us.