During the 4th World Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Conference, the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, IFPA, presented the results of a global survey to identify strategic activities to cope with unmet needs of patients with psoriasis.
The online survey, which launched in June of 2014 and closed at end of May 2015, was developed by IFPA to gain insights on which activities, or "tools", patients, physicians, family members and friends find to be the most valuable in improving the situation for people with psoriasis all over the world. When the survey closed, more than 4 600 individuals from 120 countries had each voted for the five tools out of a total of seventeen they believed will help build a better world for people with psoriasis.
Education must be prioritized
The aggregated results from all respondent groups clearly indicate that education must be prioritized. The five tools that received the most votes are all within the education category, showing that this is an area where the survey respondents see a clear need for improvement and development. Primarily, the needs seem to be the greatest regarding education about treatment options, both for the patients and the physicians, but also in educating policy makers about the socioeconomic and psychosocial impact of psoriasis.
Lars Ettarp, President of IFPA, comments:
"The respondents to the survey show us two things: the patient must always be prioritized and be the focus of strategic activities, and the other is that IFPA's prioritizations correspond well to the outcomes of this global survey, something that we are both happy and grateful to see. We now need to continue and strengthen our activities in this specific area to ensure that the necessary education reaches the patients, the healthcare professionals and the policy makers."
Implications of the survey
The survey results imply that all stakeholders should incorporate educational activities and efforts into their strategies, to ensure that the needs are met. In short:
- Patients need to be educated about treatment options and gain a greater understanding of their disease, especially in terms of the risks of serious co-morbid conditions
- Policy makers need to be educated about the socioeconomic and psychosocial impact of psoriasis
- Doctors and other healthcare professionals need to be educated about treatment options
About the survey
The online survey was launched on IFPA's website in mid-June 2014 and was open until the end of May 2015. Featuring 17 different suggested tools within advocacy, awareness and education, as well as an open answer part where respondents could add their own suggestions, the survey was open for people with psoriasis, the physicians who treat them, and their family members and friends.
The top five tools voted for were:
- Tool 2: Educating the patients about treatment options
- Tool 1: Educating the patients about psoriasis as a serious, inflammatory, noncommunicable disease
- Tool 9: Educating policy makers about the socioeconomic (both for the individual and society at large) and psychosocial impact of psoriasis (depression, stigmatization, discrimination)
- Tool 3: Educating the patients about serious comorbid conditions (psoriatic arthritis, metabolic syndrome, diabetes type II, cardiovascular disease, psychosocial impacts, etc.)
- Tool 6: Educating doctors and other healthcare professionals about treatment options