Management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in a combined dermatology and rheumatology clinic

Arch Dermatol Res. 2012 Jan;304(1):7-13. doi: 10.1007/s00403-011-1172-6.


Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are chronic systemic inflammatory disorders with wide spectrums of cutaneous and musculoskeletal presentations. Management of joint disease in this population can be challenging and often requires the expertise of rheumatology in conjunction with dermatology. A multidisciplinary clinic setting may benefit these patients, and in this study we sought to evaluate the experience of such a model. We performed a retrospective chart review of patients evaluated between October 2003 and October 2009 in the Center for Skin and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases (SARM) at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, where patients are seen by both an attending rheumatologist and dermatologist. Main outcomes included the presence of comorbidities, accuracy of the initial diagnosis, and escalation of treatment modalities. Over the 6-year period, 510 patients were evaluated. Two hundred sixty-eight patients had psoriasis and/or PsA. The prevalence of comorbidities was high (45% hypertension, 46% hyperlipidemia, 19% diabetes, and 36% history of the past or current smoking). Visit in SARM resulted in a revised diagnosis that differed from the previous diagnosis at outside clinics in 46% of cases. Patients were more likely to receive a systemic medication after the evaluation in SARM as compared to before, 25 versus 15%, respectively, with an odds ratio of 5.1. Patients were also more likely to be treated with a biologic agent after the evaluation in SARM as compared to before, 37 versus 16%, respectively. Multidisciplinary care may facilitate the diagnosis of joint disease and offers a more comprehensive treatment approach for patients with both psoriasis and PsA. Our data can be used to support the efforts to provide integrated rheumatologic and dermatologic care for this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / complications
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / physiopathology
  • Comorbidity
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, Special
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psoriasis / complications
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis*
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology*
  • Psoriasis / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rheumatology
  • United States