Ersser, S.J., Cowdell, F.C., Latter, S.M. and Healy, E.
Self-management experiences in adults with mild-moderate psoriasis: an exploratory study and implications for improved support
British Journal of Dermatology, 163, (5), . (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.09916.x).
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Background: psoriasis is a long-term condition affecting 2-3% of the population. The mainstay of treatment for mild-moderate disease is the regular application of topical medication by the individual. At present little is known about how people with psoriasis self-manage and how they may best be supported in this endeavour.
Objectives: to explore how adults with mild-moderate psoriasis manage their condition and to identify strategies that can support people to self-manage effectively.
Methods: a qualitative investigation using six focus groups to collect data from purposively sampled participants, managed in the community (n=22).
Results: thematic data analysis generated three categories that offer new insights into how people currently manage their condition, their low expectations of health services and how self-management may be better supported. People with mild-moderate psoriasis do not always achieve what they perceive to be optimal self-management. They often do not use topical therapy systematically and frequently abandon it if rapid improvements are not seen. Factors which participants identified as likely to improve self-management included the provision of individualised education directed towards improving effective adherence techniques by medical and non-medical personnel who have practical experience in topical application of psoriatic therapies.
Conclusions: people with mild-moderate psoriasis continue to find self-management problematic; however, they can identify strategies that could enable them to become more effective in self-managing. There is a need to incorporate these strategies in "self- management plans" in order to support individuals to self-manage as effectively as possible to help improve their skin condition and quality of life
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