National Psoriasis Foundation
Advertisement

Study: Frequent doctor visits will help your psoriasis

By Melissa Leavitt

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with psoriasis, seeing your doctor again soon could be the key to successful treatment.

It’s been well-established that frequent follow-up visits for patients undergoing treatment are beneficial. But a study published last month in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that many skin disease patients do not see their doctor often enough.

Researchers analyzed a Medicaid database over a four-year period, from 2003-2007, to determine the length of time between a patient’s diagnosis with psoriasis, acne or eczema, and their first follow-up visit. The study included 32,375 people with psoriasis.

Because dermatologic treatments can improve symptoms in as little as a week, the researchers note, scheduling a follow-up visit one to two weeks after the patient’s initial visit could be useful. However, the study results indicated that only 19.8 percent of psoriasis patients saw their doctor again within that time frame. The average time before a follow-up visit for psoriasis was 153 days (approximately five months) for adults, and 142 days (approximately four months) for children. 

Follow-up times for the other diseases were similar in adults, the researchers report. For children, average follow-up times for eczema and acne were more than 200 days.

Results also indicated that most patients did not have any follow-up visits. More than half of adults (53.9 percent) and more than two-thirds of children (67.3 percent) with psoriasis did not see their doctor again for this disease.

Despite these findings, frequent follow-up visits often result in more successful treatments. According to the researchers, patients are more likely to follow their doctor’s treatment guidelines when they have an upcoming office visit. Studies of other diseases, such as diabetes and stroke, have also found that patient outcomes and satisfaction improve when with more frequent doctor’s appointments, the researchers note.

The study did not take into account follow-up delays caused by patient no-shows, and was limited to studying patients who are on Medicaid. Nevertheless, the researchers recommend that guidelines for treating dermatologic diseases emphasize the importance of early follow-up visits for all patients.

For help finding a provider, search the National Psoriasis Foundation physician directory. Check the Financial Assistance Resource Center for help with the cost of doctor’s visits and treatments. 

Advertisement


Did you enjoy this article? Want to read more?

Check out more from Psoriasis Advance »

Advertisement

 

Copyright © 1996-2013 National Psoriasis Foundation/USA

Any duplication, rebroadcast, republication or other use of content appearing on this website is prohibited without written permission of National Psoriasis Foundation. National Psoriasis Foundation does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the content of external websites.

National Psoriasis Foundation | 6600 SW 92nd Ave., Suite 300, Portland, OR 97223
getinfo@psoraisis.org | www.psoriasis.org

National Psoriasis FoundationNational Psoriasis Foundation Our Mission: To drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected.

CONTACT US

getinfo@psoriasis.org
800-723-9166

National Office:
6600 SW 92nd Ave., Ste. 300
Portland, OR 97223


Washington D.C. Office:
1800 Diagonal Rd., Ste. 360
Alexandria, VA 22314


Site Feedback »

Copyright © 1996-2014 National Psoriasis Foundation/USA

Any duplication, rebroadcast, republication or other use of content appearing on this website is prohibited without written permission of National Psoriasis Foundation.

The National Psoriasis Foundation does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the content of external websites.

The National Psoriasis Foundation does not endorse any specific treatments or medications for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Member of Community Health Charities National Health CouncilFour Star Charity Navigator Rating