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Strategies for Addressing Cardiovascular Risk Factors Essential in Psoriasis Patients, Study Finds

When communicating with psoriasis patients, not enough physicians give specific advice about the importance of lifestyle changes to modify cardiovascular risk factors, according to new research. In a new study, investigators audio-recorded and analyzed consultations between primary care practitioners and patients with psoriasis across 10 practices. They used a coding frame to record specific techniques for communicating risk information. They found that the most frequently used communication methods were verbal descriptors of risk factors accompanied by numerical data rather than verbal descriptors alone. Additionally, practitioners did not use numerical risk communication methods alone. While physicians offered interpretations of CVD risk factors in 84 percent of consultations, specific advice about behavior/risk modification was only given in 38.5 percent of consultations. The authors concluded that developing a best practice for communicating complex health risk information would ensure that people with psoriasis are empowered to make lifestyle modifications to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

—Int J Behav Med. 2015 Oct 21

Can an App Enhance Patient Compliance?

There’s an app for that—including the recently updated MyPSO QualityCare™  App, which was created by LEO Pharma, and the new Mole Mapper App from Oregon Health & Science University—both of which help dermatology patients manage disease. Mole Mapper is designed to advance melanoma research by giving users the ability to accurately measure and monitor moles, and contribute photos of how their potential trouble spots evolve over time. MyPSO allows patients to track their progress with managing their psoriasis at the touch of a button.

Are there any apps you recommend that benefit patients? Let us know what and why—email editor@bmctoday.com. Look for more on these apps and others in the December edition of Practical Dermatology® magazine.

Acne Regimen Combining Retinoids with Moisturizer May Result in Increased Compliance

Use of a moisturizer along with retinoids could reduce undesirable side effects without interfering the efficacy of adapalene as well as enhance patients’ adherence to acne medications. In an eight-week double-blind, prospective, randomized controlled study, 120 patients were randomized equally into one of three groups: adapalene gel, adapalene gel with the active formulation (a moisturizer containing licochalcone A, l-carnitine and 1,2-decanediol), or adapalene gel with placebo. Investigators recorded the severity of acne, skin bioengineering measurements and skin tolerability and found that, compared to baseline, the active formulation group showed significant reductions in inflammatory lesions and total lesions at the end of the study without flare-up. Moreover, skin irritations were less detected in the adapalene plus moisturizer group than in the other two groups by corneometer and transepidermal water loss.

—J Dermatolog Treat. 2015 Sep 2:1-6.

Kids Song Stirs Eczema Awareness, Promotes Adherence

A new song aims to increase awareness of eczema as well as teach children the importance of treatment. The Eczema Song is a collaboration between singer/songwriter Kyle Dine and Jennifer Roberge, founder of The Eczema Company and Its An Itchy Little World blog. The video is available on YouTube and will soon be available to download on iTunes. The Eczema Company hopes their new tune will empower children and support their caregivers living with the relentless condition.

The song was released in October for Eczema Awareness Month. The company noted that The Eczema Song is dedicated to all the strong, amazing children who have eczema but won’t be defined by it. To watch the video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OayCtV_ht5g. n

Dealing With The Difficult Patient: When Bad Patients Happen To Good Doctors

In the September/October edition of Modern Aesthetics® magazine, Heidi Waldorf, MD examined the full range of “difficult” patients in aesthetics practices. She also offered strategies for proactively handling difficult experiences with patients:

“In a perfect world, we, and better yet our staff before we enter the exam room, will feel the tingle of our finely tuned ‘spidey senses’ and find a politic way to avoid doing an aesthetic procedure on someone you suspect will be uncommonly ‘difficult.’ Unfortunately, many do get through our early warning mechanisms. Once the physician-patient relationship is established, the physician has an ethical and legal obligation to take care of that patient for what is termed ‘a reasonable period of time’, often defined as 30 days, after giving written notice of dismissal.

No physician would go to work everyday, if most patient interactions weren’t positive. The satisfaction that comes from helping other people is still a major draw of medicine as a career. Patients are as diverse as the population—some have auras so happy you can feel them on the other side of the door; others, less so. And most, like us, are people who are reasonable and have good and bad days. So don’t let the bad eggs spoil the dozen for you.”

—Heidi Waldorf, MD

Dr. Waldorf also discussed strategies for dealing with difficult patients in the latest edition of the video series, “Heideas for Aesthetics Practice,” available on Modern Aesthetics® TV (www.modernaesthetics.tv).

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