Psychotherapy boosts psoriasis clearance. (Stress Reduction Sought).
The study shows that effective management of psoriasis should take a holistic approach recognizing the disease's genetic, environmental, social, psychological, and physical aspects, the investigators said (Br. J. Dermatol. 146:458-65, 2002).
In the randomized trial, 93 patients were given the option of receiving 6 weeks of standard care consisting of topical and systemic medications, including phototherapy and photochemotherapy, or 6 weeks of participation in the Psoriasis Symptom Management Program (PSMP), which included standard care plus six sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy designed to teach relaxation and stress-reduction techniques and to challenge patients' negative views of the disorder.
A total of 53 patients opted for the standard care regimen; 40 agreed to participate in PSMP. At the study's outset, there were no significant differences between the two groups in demographics, clinical history, or clinical severity of psoriasis.
Evaluations of clinical severity of the psoriasis and patient-reported disability, anxiety, depression, and stress related to psoriasis were measured at outset, at 6 weeks, and at 6 months of follow-up.
Of the PSMP patients, 64% achieved a 75% or greater clearance of their psoriasis at 6 months; 23% of the standard therapy patients achieved a 75% or greater clearance of their psoriasis at 6 months.