Disease-specific psoriasis-related quality of life (QOL) measures have recently been developed and used in several hospital-based investigations. However, little is known about the impact of psoriasis on QOL in people with psoriasis who are not referred by dermatologists.
The purpose of the study was to investigate psoriasis-related QOL in a large sample of members of the psoriasis associations from the Nordic countries, and to compare the results with those from psoriasis patients recruited from Nordic dermatologists or Nordic University clinics.
A total of 5795 association members and 702 patients rated their psoriasis severity and completed the Psoriasis Disability Index and the Psoriasis Life Stress Index.
Patients reported greater disease severity and greater impairment of QOL than members of associations, and Norwegian participants reported greater disease severity and greater impairment of QOL than participants from the remaining Nordic countries. Older and married participants reported less impairment of QOL than younger participants and those living alone. When controlling for the influence of these and other demographic and socio-economic factors, self-reported severity emerged as the most significant predictor of psoriasis-related QOL, explaining 32-26% of the variation in QOL scores, with the remaining factors only accounting for 4-5% of the variation. Although correlated with self-reported severity, Psoriasis Area and Severity Index scores were not a significant predictor of QOL in the patient sample.
Though self-reported severity may be the most important predictor, further research is needed to determine factors explaining the remaining variance in psoriasis-related QOL.