Assessment key for improving psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis outcomes

Joseph Merola, MD, MMSC, demonstrates the examination of a patient-model for psoriatic arthritis.

New treatments for psoriasis have improved outcomes, but the measurement of outcomes for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis lags. A Summer Meeting workshop will change that by teaching assessment skills using printed assessment materials, an app, and a patient-model for demonstrations.

Practical Approaches to Assessing Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Patients in Clinic” (W001) on July 27 will feature five presentations focusing on the importance of assessment, how best to perform assessments for both conditions and quality of life, the development of the National Psoriasis Foundation’s (NPF) treat-to-target initiative, and the direction of the International Dermatology Outcome Measures organization (IDEOM).

“The goal is to get doctors to measure their clinical responses and provide a quantitative estimate of the clinical response, mainly for psoriasis. However, we also want to get them to assess psoriatic arthritis and have some idea how much pain the patient has,” said Alice Gottlieb, MD, PhD, session director.

Dr. Gottlieb is professor of dermatology at New York Medical College and the president of IDEOM. She will explain the importance of starting to collect psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis assessment data.

“We don’t have good outcome measures that are useful in clinical practice for psoriatic arthritis,” she said. “It is interesting that one of the domains picked by all of the IDEOM stakeholders for psoriasis was to assess symptoms of psoriatic arthritis in psoriasis clinical trials. I hope this will translate into clinical practice, too.”

Mark Lebwohl, MD, Waldman Chair of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will work with a patient model to demonstrate how to assess arthritis severity using educational materials in the workshop. The materials will be available electronically and in hard copy.

Also using a patient model, Joseph Merola, MD, MMSC, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, will demonstrate the process for assessing psoriatic arthritis, with a focus on examining joints.

Abby Van Voorhees, MD, professor and chair of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, will detail the NPF treat-to-target initiative. It sets specific treatment goals to help make achieving clear skin or almost clear skin the standard of care for psoriasis.

Bruce Elliot Strober, MD, PhD, professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut Health Center, will explain assessments for health-related quality of life. He will review common patient-reported outcome measures used in clinical trials.

Dr. Gottlieb will close the session by reviewing IDEOM’s goals for developing outcome measures for clinical practice.

“The need for having practical, feasible, easy outcome measures for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for use in the clinic is urgent,” she said. “It is urgent because payers, insurance companies, and government entities are making decisions on drugs and doctors based on current large databases that do not include dermatology outcomes. Therefore, in the absence of outcomes, cost is the major driver.

“This falls in the category of ‘Don’t get mad, get data.’ It is important to show our worth by demonstrating our outcomes in the clinical record.”

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