How important is subjective well-being for patients? A qualitative interview study of people with psoriasis

Qual Life Res. 2022 Dec;31(12):3355-3363. doi: 10.1007/s11136-022-03189-w. Epub 2022 Aug 10.


Purpose: This qualitative study aimed to investigate the importance of subjective well-being (SWB) as an outcome of psoriasis treatment from patient's perspective. We focused on the affective component of SWB as assessed with the Daily Experience Sampling Questionnaire (DESQ), a validated daily diary.

Methods: Semi-structured qualitative telephone interviews were conducted with in-patients of a dermatological rehabilitation clinic, after participants had completed the DESQ for up to seven days to get familiar with the concept of SWB. Patients were asked to reflect on the importance of SWB as treatment goal and on its relative importance as compared with other treatment outcomes. We also addressed whether SWB could be an indirect measure of benefit in that it reflects other important outcomes. Transcripts were analyzed using content analysis.

Results: Eleven patients participated (24-63 years, mean 53 years, 8 male, 3 female). Participants uniformly confirmed that changes in SWB reflected treatment benefit. All but one considered SWB to be a central aspect of treatment benefit-either as the most important treatment goal or as an indirect benefit indicator. In particular, participants described positive associations of SWB with other outcomes, such as symptoms. They reported that both the disease and the medical treatment had an impact on their SWB, which was reflected in the DESQ.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that SWB is a relevant indicator of treatment benefit for patients with psoriasis. Therefore, SWB measures, such as the DESQ, could be used to operationalize patient-relevant benefit of psoriasis treatment, complementing outcome measures currently used.

Keywords: Happiness; Psoriasis; Subjective well-being; Treatment benefit.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Psoriasis* / drug therapy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome