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Psychotherapy boosts psoriasis clearance. (Stress Reduction Sought).

A psoriasis treatment program that included cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as local and systemic treatments controlled the disorder significantly better than dermatologic treatments alone, reported Dr. D.G. Fortune of the University of Manchester (England) and associates.

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[3]: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.
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Author:Sullivan, Michele G.
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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