Psoriasis produces symptoms such as skin scaling, itching, and pain; an additional diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis adds to the symptom burden and can permanently damage joints. Research has documented the relationship between psoriasis disease severity and quality of life (QoL) well. What is not well understood is whether a sustained improvement in disease severity is associated with a sustained improvement in dermatology-specific QoL over time.
Katherine Houghton of RTI Health Solutions and coauthors created a study using pooled data from four phase-three clinical trials of secukinumab among patients with psoriasis to address this knowledge gap. This longitudinal modeling study, sponsored by Novartis, included patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis with and without psoriatic arthritis. The exploratory post hoc analysis explored the association between improvements in skin clearance measured by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index and QoL measured by the Dermatology Life Quality Index over 52 weeks.
Specifically, the analysis aimed to determine whether a sustained clinical response - that is, no further improvements in psoriasis severity - was associated with sustained QoL and whether these relationships differed for patients with psoriatic arthritis. The results showed a positive correlation between changes in skin clearance and QoL, which strengthened during sustained clinical response. In other words, if psoriasis severity was improved and maintained, QoL was also improved and maintained. This correlation proved true for patients with psoriasis alone and those with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
View the study abstract here.