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Psoriasis survey reveals discrimination and low treatment expectations

29 June 2016  •  Author: Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

Findings from the largest global survey to date of people with psoriasis reveal 84% of people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis suffer discrimination and humiliation, with many being stared at in public as a result of their medical condition.

psoriasis

In addition, the results from more than 8,300 participants show that people with psoriasis have very low treatment expectations of achieving clear skin.

Novartis initiated and funded the survey. Vasant Narasimhan, Global Head, Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis, commented: “This survey marks our commitment to support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) resolution to make psoriasis a global health priority, fighting the stigma and ignorance associated with psoriasis and advancing patient care.”

Over 8,300 people from 31 countries took part in the survey, and it is also the first of its kind to explore perceptions of clear skin in psoriasis. This is the largest ever partnership between Novartis and patient organisations, including 25 groups from around the world.

55% don’t believe clear skin is a realistic goal

Along with unacceptable levels of discrimination and humiliation, the survey shows that nearly half of people with psoriasis have been asked if they are contagious. The devastating effect psoriasis can have on personal lives and people’s mental health was also revealed, with the survey showing 16% of people admit to hiding themselves away from the world as a coping mechanism. This lack of hope and self-esteem is reflected in the results, with 55% of people stating they do not believe clear or almost clear skin is a realistic goal for them.

“Everyone deserves the right to receive effective treatment for their psoriasis and work towards the goal of clear skin, but this survey shows the majority of people simply don’t think it’s possible,” said Dr Richard B Warren, Reader Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist at the Dermatology Centre Salford Royal Foundation Hospital, University of Manchester. “Though we may not be able to change the public’s attitude overnight, as dermatologists, we should work with patients to encourage them to strive towards a treatment goal of clear skin.”

Further survey results can be found on www.skintolivein.com. Novartis worked with artist, Natalie Fletcher, to bring the hopes and stories of survey participants to life through a series of body painting. You can watch the though-provoking video below: 

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