Husni ME, Fernandez A, Hauber B, Singh R, Posner J, Sutphin J, Ganguli A. Comparison of US patient, rheumatologist, and dermatologist perceptions of psoriatic disease symptoms: results from the DISCONNECT study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 May 31;20:102.


BACKGROUND: The perceived bother of skin and joint-related manifestations of psoriatic disease may differ among patients, rheumatologists, and dermatologists. This study identified and compared the patient and dermatologist/ rheumatologist-perceived bother of psoriatic disease manifestations.

METHODS: Online surveys were administered to patients with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to dermatologists and rheumatologists. Object-case best–worst scaling was used to identify the most and least bothersome items from a set of five items in a series of questions. Each item set was drawn from 20 items describing psoriatic disease skin and joint symptoms and impacts on daily activities. Survey responses were analyzed using random-parameters logit models for each surveyed group, yielding a relative-bother weight (RBW) for each item compared with joint pain, soreness, or tenderness.

RESULTS: Surveys were completed by 200 patients, 150 dermatologists, and 150 rheumatologists. Patients and physicians agreed that joint pain, soreness, and tenderness are among the most bothersome manifestations of psoriatic disease (RBW 1.00). For patients, painful, inflamed, or broken skin (RBW 1.03) was more bothersome, while both rheumatologists and dermatologists considered painful skin much less bothersome (RBW 0.17 and 0.22, respectively) than joint pain. Relative to joint pain, rheumatologists were more likely to perceive other joint symptoms as bothersome, while dermatologists were more likely to perceive other skin symptoms as bothersome.

CONCLUSIONS: This study has identified important areas of discordance both between patients and physicians and between rheumatologists and dermatologists about the relative bother of a comprehensive set of psoriatic disease symptoms and functional impacts. Both physician specialists should ask patients which manifestations of psoriatic disease are most bothersome to them, as these discussions may have important implications for drug and other patient management options.

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