Introduction: Psoriasis significantly affects the patients quality of life, which often leads patients to seek online information about this disease.
Objectives: To explore the habits of patients with psoriasis related to their use of social media (SM) and the internet to obtain information about their disease.
Methods: 1,520 patients completed the survey and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire. The Psoriasis Area Severity Index scores (PASI) and clinical data of the patients were recorded by their physicians.
Results: Of the 1,114 patients that reported using SM and internet, 48.38% regularly and 31.14% sometimes resorted to obtain information about psoriasis. The use of SM and internet for psoriasis was statistically significantly higher among young people (P = 0.000), those with university or higher education (P = 0.009), higher DLQI (P = 0.000) and PASI (P = 0.011) scores, facial (P = 0.050), scalp (P = 0.032), hand (P = 0.048), genital (P = 0.001) and inverse (P = 0.000) involvement, and arthralgia/arthritis (P = 0.006). The participants mostly used the Google (86%) and Facebook (41%). More than half of the participants (62.8%) expected dermatologists to inform society that psoriasis is not contagious.
Conclusions: Internet and SM being widely available and offering substantial information to be easily accessed make it very attractive for patients to use these platforms to investigate diseases, including psoriasis. If what is presented on SM conflicts with what the physician says, patients mostly trust the latter, but at the same time, they tend not to share the results of their online inquiries with their physicians.
Keywords: habit; internet; psoriasis; social media.
©2022 Aslan Kayıran et al.