Recognition of need in health care consultations: a qualitative study of people with psoriasis

Br J Dermatol. 2013 Feb;168(2):354-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11217.x. Epub 2012 Nov 2.


Background: Psoriasis is a life-long inflammatory condition that can impact on quality of life, psychological and social functioning. Previous literature suggests patient dissatisfaction with psoriasis management; however, little is known about people's specific experiences of health care consultations.

Objectives: The study aimed to explore in depth the perspectives of people living with psoriasis including coping responses, self-care strategies and how consultations with health care professionals in both primary and secondary care are experienced.

Methods: Qualitative semistructured interviews were carried out with a diverse sample of 29 people with psoriasis generated purposively and recruited from community sources in North West England. Interviews were coded using Framework Analysis to produce a thematic framework incorporating key emerging issues and concepts.

Results: Participants experienced psoriasis as a complex condition involving physical, psychological and social challenges, as well as issues of control, but perceived that these were largely unacknowledged by practitioners in health care consultations. Practitioners were perceived as lacking knowledge and expertise in the management of psoriasis, lacking empathy with the effects of psoriasis and failing to manage it as a long-term condition. This perceived lack of support resulted in some participants withdrawing from conventional health service providers and seeking alternative sources of help.

Conclusions: Psoriasis needs to be recognized and managed as a complex long-term condition with emotional and social needs that are addressed alongside appropriate diagnosis and regular reviews of treatments which may involve referrals to specialist care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Psoriasis / psychology
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Stereotyping
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Young Adult