Global Psoriasis Survey: 85% of US Respondents Faced Social Stigma Because of Psoriasis

06/28/2016

Novartis released new results from its Clear About Psoriasis Survey, the largest global survey to date of people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Findings reveal 85 percent of US respondents have suffered from social stigma like discrimination and humiliation because of their disease. In addition, US results from the global survey show that 52 percent of psoriasis patients do not believe clear skin is a realistic goal for them.

The survey, which is the first of its kind to explore perceptions of clear skin in psoriasis, was completed by more than 8,300 people from 31 countries, including 1,415 from the US. With 25 groups from around the world, this is the largest collaboration between Novartis and patient organizations to develop and conduct a patient survey.

"The National Psoriasis Foundation is proud to partner with Novartis and other patient advocacy organizations around the globe to further highlight the daily challenges faced by those living with psoriasis," said Randy Beranek, president and CEO, National Psoriasis Foundation. "By participating in this survey, we hope to empower patients to work with their dermatologists to achieve a goal of clear or almost clear skin, which will assist in overcoming the impact of the social stigma of this disease."

The survey reveals nearly half (48 percent) of US respondents have been asked if they are contagious, 45 percent reported they have been stared at while out in public, and 48 percent noted they needed to do additional housework including cleaning up flakes or washing bloody or stained sheets.

The devastating effect psoriasis can have on personal lives and people's emotional health was also revealed, with the survey showing 21 percent of respondents admit to hiding themselves away from the world. Additionally, 30 percent of respondents reported being diagnosed with depression, and 27 percent diagnosed with anxiety.

"My goal in joining the steering committee to develop the Clear About Psoriasis Survey was to not only reveal the deeper impact of psoriasis in a patient's life, but to also help ignite conversations between dermatologists and their patients," said April Armstrong, MD, MPH, Associate Dean for Clinical Research, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and Medical Board Member for the National Psoriasis Foundation. "As a dermatologist, I was concerned to learn that so many psoriasis sufferers don't think clear or almost clear skin is a possibility, which reinforces the importance of patients talking to their dermatologists."

The impact of psoriasis can extend beyond the individual living with the disease and can affect loved ones. More than half of US survey respondents (51 percent) noted that psoriasis has impacted past or current relationships. It can be specifically difficult on intimate relationships, with less than one-third (28 percent) stating they feel their partner loves them just the way they are.

More information can be found at www.psoriasis.org/navigationcenter.

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