Can stress reduction interventions improve psoriasis? A review

Bethany Fordham, Christopher E M Griffiths, Christine Bundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psoriasis remains incurable and many sufferers experience related psychological distress and a lower quality of life comparable with other chronic diseases. A subpopulation of people with psoriasis believes their condition is exacerbated by psychological stress. This review analyses whether stress-reduction interventions can reduce: the physical severity of psoriasis and related psychological distress. A systematic search across EMBASE, MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library SIGLE and PsychInfo, identified 730 trials and 10 were included. Three trials found a significant difference in psoriasis outcomes between groups post-intervention, (p <0.05). Seven studies included a psychological outcome and three found a significant difference (p <0.05). Three trials included a quality of life measurement and one of these reported a significant improvement (p <0.001). Due to low quality evidence it is currently insufficient to judge stress reduction interventions as either effective or ineffective. We make nine recommendations for future research in this multidisciplinary field. © Taylor and Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-514
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • arousal reduction
  • psoriasis
  • psychological interventions
  • review


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