Background: Multiple systemic treatments are available for moderate to severe psoriasis, but dermatologists' perceptions of these treatments are unknown. Physician perceptions can influence prescribing patterns and patient outcomes, and may help to explain variations in clinical practice.
Objective: We sought to describe the variation in dermatologist's beliefs about the safety and effectiveness of psoriasis treatments and evaluate how these relate to dermatologist characteristics and treatment preferences.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional mail survey of a random sample of 500 National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) members and 500 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) members who treat psoriasis.
Results: Of 989 clinicians who could be contacted, 246 NPF members and 141 AAD members returned the survey (39% response rate). Respondents perceived infliximab, ustekinumab, cyclosporine, and adalimumab to have the highest likelihood of skin clearance in 3 months (67%-75%). Etanercept, adalimumab, ultraviolet B, and ustekinumab had the lowest perceived likelihood of side effects requiring treatment discontinuation (9%-11%). Up to 49% of respondents "didn't know" the effectiveness or likelihood of side effects; calculated coefficients of variation were higher for perceived likelihood of side effects than perceived effectiveness. There were few significant associations between safety and effectiveness perceptions and respondent characteristics, and treatment preferences were not consistently predictive of perceptions.
Limitations: Only dermatologists with interest in treating psoriasis were surveyed and general perceptions were elicited via survey format. Perceptions may differ between survey respondents and nonrespondents.
Conclusions: Psoriasis providers demonstrate wide variation in their perception of the effectiveness and especially safety of systemic treatments.
Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.