Research Highlights Social and Health Effects of Psoriasis

Press Release – Abbott

Abbott today announced the results of the first Psoriasis Uncovered survey,* revealing that the majority (94%) of New Zealanders living with psoriasis feel embarrassed about their condition.Latest Abbott Research Highlights Social and Health Effects of Psoriasis

Social Isolation And Feelings Of Embarrassment Show That Physical Effect Of Psoriasis Is Only One Of Many Challenges Faced By Kiwis With The Condition

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 26 March, 2012 — Abbott today announced the results of the first Psoriasis Uncovered survey,* revealing that the majority (94%) of New Zealanders living with psoriasis feel embarrassed about their condition.

The survey found that more than two thirds of patients (77%) try to hide the disease, and of this number nearly all try to hide it not only from the public (94%), but also from extended family (46%) and even their own children (25%).

The national survey of 308 New Zealanders was commissioned by Abbott to discover the burden on a person’s life of living with psoriasis – a chronic auto-immune disease that appears on the skin.[1] The Psoriasis Uncovered survey was developed in consultation with leading dermatologists and supported by the Southland Psoriasis Association. The survey not only uncovered the isolation associated with the condition, it also found that psoriasis has a profound impact for some on major life choices, including career selection.

“It is well established by international studies that psoriasis presents a strong psychosocial burden affecting multiple facets of a person’s life,” said Dr. Nicholas Birchall, MB, ChB, FRACP, Auckland Dermatology. “This new local survey corroborates the international findings and also shows that the condition can be terribly isolating and its affect can go far beyond just the skin.”

The survey also discovered that 47% of patients experience the onset of psoriasis at a young age. Nearly half of all sufferers reported an onset of psoriasis under the age of 20, which is a formative time in any person’s life, especially with regard to long-term self-image and feelings of self-worth.

“The longer psoriasis goes untreated, the worse the impact can be on a person’s quality of life,” said Dr. Birchall. “It is therefore crucial that those living with psoriasis discuss ways to better manage their condition with their dermatologist and seek out information on the available treatment options.”

Although many people living with psoriasis believed themselves to be generally healthy, the survey revealed that many were dealing with at least one other serious health issue – with stress (35%), weight problems (29%), joint pain (28%) and psoriatic arthritis (26%) the most commonly reported associated conditions.

“What is not widely known about psoriasis is that there may be a higher risk of developing other serious health issues,” said Patricia Officer, President, Southland Psoriasis Association. “It is important that people with psoriasis are aware of this so informed decisions can be made when managing their health.”

Survey results also revealed that most people do not receive help with their psoriasis, with women more likely to have no support at all (45%). Furthermore, respondents strongly indicated that more information on psoriasis is needed, with nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) stating they want to know more about the condition and almost all (97%) indicating they want more information on the latest developments.

“People with psoriasis should not have to suffer in silence,” added Officer. “There is support out there. Visit our new website and review the new information. Consider then if becoming a member of the Southland Psoriasis Association Support Group would be of help.”

More information about psoriasis and contact details for the Southland Psoriasis Association can be found at www.psoriasis.org.nz.
About Psoriasis
Psoriasis affects more than 125 million people all over the world,[2] and the most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells which can occur on any part of the body.1

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott employs almost 700 people in Australia and New Zealand and has offices located in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington.

Abbott’s news releases and other information are available on the company’s Web site at www.abbottaustralasia.com.au and www.abbott.com.
References:
* The New Zealand Psoriasis Uncovered survey was conducted by StollzNow Research from Oct-Dec 2011.
About Psoriasis. The National Psoriasis Foundation. Accessed on 7 Feb 2012 at: http://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis
2 About Psoriasis: Statistics. The National Psoriasis Foundation. Accessed on 7 Feb 2012 at: http://www.psoriasis.org/learn_statistics

Embargoed for 00.01am, Monday 26th March
Psoriasis Uncovered Survey

Methodology1
Abbott, supported by the Southland Psoriasis Association, undertook a survey to reveal the impact of living with the chronic auto-immune disease psoriasis.

The Psoriasis Uncovered survey was based on a sample size of 308 participants who completed an anonymous questionnaire either on paper or online over an eight week period (31st October 2011 – 16th December 2011).

People living with psoriasis were invited to participate in the survey via information available in dermatology clinics, the Southland Psoriasis Association, a link on the DermNet website, and advertisements in metro newspapers.

Survey Objective
To assess the impact of living with psoriasis in New Zealand in order to understand and document the needs of people with psoriasis and improve awareness and understanding of one of the most common skin conditions in the world.

Survey Results1

Physical symptoms
• The most common age groups of onset for respondents were between the ages of 16 and 20 years old (19%) and after the age of 40 (18%)
• 59% of respondents reported that during a flare-up, more than 10% of their body is covered with psoriasis
• More than 10% of respondents have been admitted to hospital due to their psoriasis

Psychosocial impact
• Psoriasis presents a strong psychosocial burden affecting multiple facets of a person’s life. Of all respondents 77% said they hide their psoriasis from other people. Of those respondents:
o Almost all (94%) said they hide their psoriasis from the public or people they don’t know
o Sadly, almost half of those even try to hide their condition from their extended family (46%) and a quarter hide it from their own children (25%)
o Embarrassment is the leading reason why respondents said they hide their psoriasis (82%), while 43% put it down to a fear of being judged and 33% to a fear of discrimination
• More than a third (38%) of all respondents don’t believe the community understand psoriasis
Career choice and wages
• Of those respondents in paid employment, 19% reported having been prevented from taking a job — and women were far more affected than men – men at 10%, women at 25%
o Of those respondents, almost a third (32%) say psoriasis has stopped them taking a job where they can’t cover their body; nearly a quarter of people (24%) didn’t take a job because they were worried about catching a disease through skin flaking; and 16% reported that their psoriasis prevented them from taking a personal services job.
• Of those that reported lost wages due to psoriasis, it was significant — an estimated average of $1,753 lost in the last year
Associated conditions
• Respondents reported having a number of other medical conditions or problems on top of their psoriasis. The most commonly reported additional medical conditions by New Zealanders with psoriasis included:
o Stress (35%)
o Weight problems (29%)
o Joint pain (28%)
o Psoriatic arthritis (chronic inflammation of the joints) (26%)
o Anxiety (24%)
o High blood pressure (21%)
o High cholesterol (21%)
o Fatigue (21%)
o Depression (18%)

• Less than half (39%) of those who reported having one or more associated conditions are taking active measures to manage them
Information needs
• For the best information on psoriasis, survey respondents ranked their GP the highest (48%), closely followed by internet websites (38%)
• The overall majority (74%) of survey respondents would like more information on psoriasis. Of those respondents:
o 97% want more information on the latest developments
o 65% want to know about research findings
o 33 % want access to medical papers
Treatments
• 40% of respondents reported using phototherapy (light therapy) — either currently or in the past — with the highest number of respondents reporting satisfaction with it (69%)
• 10% of respondents reported using an injectable medication — and only 3% currently use it — but reported it was the second most successful treatment (56% satisfied)
o In fact, those who had previously used, or are currently using, an injectable medication reported the highest level in the “very satisfied” category (32%)
• The least satisfactory form of treatment according to respondents was herbal or holistic treatments, with 65% of patients dissatisfied with the results. This is closely followed by creams or lotions, as 56% of patients said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the effects.
• 40% say cost prevents them from seeking medical treatment and 28% have cut back on spending to afford medical treatment

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott employs almost 700 people in Australia and New Zealand and has offices located in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington.

Abbott’s news releases and other information are available on the company’s Web site at www.abbottaustralasia.com.au and www.abbott.com.
Reference
1. StollzNow Research, Online Quantitative Research, Psoriasis Uncovered New Zealand 2011, October – December 2011.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url