What patients with psoriasis believe about their condition

D. G. Fortune, H. L. Richards, C. J. Main, C. E M Griffiths

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Patients' beliefs about their disease have been shown to be of fundamental importance in adjustment to their condition. Objective: We investigated patients' beliefs about their psoriasis and examined the relationship between these beliefs and clinical severity, symptom report, and other clinical and demographic variables. Methods: A total of 162 patients with psoriasis (84 male, 78 female) completed the illness perception questionnaire that provides a standardized assessment of beliefs about causes, consequences, chronicity or recurrence, controllability, and symptoms of the condition. Results: The most commonly reported agents of causation were stress (60.1%) and genetic factors (55.5%)-the latter group being significantly more likely to have a family history of psoriasis (P = .0001). Forty-six percent of patients believed that their behavior could improve or worsen their psoriasis, whereas 32% believed that treatment would be curative. Desquamation and pruritus were experienced 'frequently' or 'all the time' by 80% and 76% of patients respectively. Overall clinical severity was not associated with any of the beliefs held by patients or with symptom report. Conclusion: The beliefs held and symptoms experienced by patients with psoriasis are not governed by overall clinical severity of the disease.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)196-201
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
    Issue number2 I
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    • Adolescent
    • Adult
    • Age of Onset
    • Aged
    • Aged, 80 and over
    • Attitude to Health
    • Culture
    • epidemiology: England
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • epidemiology: Psoriasis
    • Questionnaires
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    • Severity of Illness Index
    • Sex Distribution
    • Social Perception
    • Statistics, Nonparametric


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