4 Healthcare Provider Tips: Patients Living with Psoriasis

In a survey conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation, a large percentage of patients living with psoriasis responded that their diagnosis had a significant negative impact on their quality of life. Interacting effectively with your healthcare provider is essential for navigating your diagnosis, managing symptoms, and receiving the best possible care. We’ve highlighted 4 tips that promote positive interactions and discussions with your health care team.
Prepare for Appointments
Prior to your appointment:

Write down any questions or concerns you’d like to address to ensure that you don’t forget. This will also allow you to focus on topics that are important to you.
Your provider will likely assess your symptoms at each visit. Let them know if there is anything you have tried that has made your symptoms better or worse. This includes over the counter oral and topical medications.
Aim to be as detailed and specific as possible.
Be prepared to discuss which parts of your body and how much of your body is affected by lesions, what symptoms you are currently experiencing (pain, itching, redness, etc.), and if you have identified any triggers.

Be open and honest
Follow up appointments allow your provider to monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments. Nothing should be off limits with your provider. Follow up visits are time for you to be honest about how you’re doing and provide feedback. Your feedback can help your care team make informed treatment decisions.
This is the time to be transparent about what you feel is working for you as well as any challenges you are facing. This is also a great time to make your provider aware of any side effects you are experiencing. Any mental or emotional challenges should also be discussed.
Collaborate in Decision Making
Managing your psoriasis should be a joint effort between you and your care team. Your treatment plan should align with your lifestyle and goals. Discuss your current treatment plan, goals and preferences.
If the process seems overwhelming, bring a trusted individual such as a family member or friend that will speak up and advocate for you.
Ask questions and seek clarification
If something is unclear, ask for clarification. If you still don’t understand, ask for additional resources that will enhance your understanding. There are many layers to living with psoriasis.
Helpful questions to ask include:

Psoriasis is associated with several comorbidities such as heart disease. Am I being monitored for these?
Are there any lifestyle or dietary changes that may improve my symptoms?
There are surveys that assess quality of life in patients with psoriasis. Should I take one?
Are there any risks associated with my current treatment plan?
I know there is no cure for psoriasis, but at what point should I be concerned that my symptoms aren’t improving?
I am not responding well to my current treatment, what other treatment options are available?
Do I qualify for any ongoing clinical trials for psoriasis?

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with plaque psoriasis and would like to learn more about an ongoing clinical trial the LATITUDE study.
 

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