May 20, 2016

World Health Organization (WHO) Publishes Global Report on Psoriasis

The report aims to raise awareness of psoriasis and fight negative perceptions of people living with disease. The complexity of the disease requires a more holistic “whole person” approach to care.
 
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Psoriasis is a serious, chronic, inflammatory disease that can have a debilitating impact on people’s lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published the 2016 Global Report on Psoriasis to bring the public health impact of psoriasis into focus.
 
The report aims to raise awareness of how the disease impacts all aspects of a person’s life and empower key stakeholders with practical solutions that can help improve care and fight the stigma associated with psoriasis.
 
By featuring studies and analyses from around the world, the report illuminates the physical and emotional effects of the disease and the broader impact psoriasis has on society.

Highlights include:
 
  • Evidence from several studies around the world suggesting that the prevalence of the disease may be increasing
  • Data showing that people living with psoriasis often suffer from psoriatic arthritis, nail psoriasis and other systemic diseases
  • Results from a large European study showing that daily activities were adversely affected by psoriasis, including clothing choice (54 percent), the need for more baths (45 percent), washing/changing clothes more often (40 percent) and sport activities (38 percent)
  • Findings from a U.S. study in which people with psoriasis reported that the disease impacted their emotional life (98 percent), social life (94 percent), family life (70 percent) and professional career (68 percent), in addition to several other aspects of their lives – with even greater impact seen in people living with psoriatic arthritis  
According to the report, the burdens of the disease over a lifetime can be cumulative and, in many cases, are irreversible. To improve the quality of care for psoriasis patients, the report suggests that care requires more than management of skin lesions and joint involvement. The complexity of the disease requires a more holistic, “whole-person” approach.
 
The WHO report concludes with recommendations on how policymakers, health care professionals, researchers, patient advocates and the media can take action to improve the quality of life for people living with psoriasis, advocate for change and help fight stigma and misunderstanding.
 
To learn more, read the WHO Global Report on Psoriasis.