Patients' Perspectives and Experience of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis of Qualitative Studies

Daniel Sumpton, Ayano Kelly, David J. Tunnicliffe, Jonathan C. Craig, Geraldine Hassett, Diana Chessman, Allison Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To describe the range and depth of perspectives and experiences of patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to inform gaps in patient-centered care. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and CINAHL to April 2018. Thematic synthesis was used to analyze the findings. RESULTS: We included 56 studies involving 1,484 adult patients with psoriasis (n = 1,147) and psoriatic arthritis (n = 337). Six themes (and subthemes) were identified: suffering uncontrollable and ongoing upheaval (dictating life choices and course, disrupting family and social roles, limited by debilitating symptoms, unstoppable and far-reaching fatigue), weighed down by mental load (anxiety provoked by the volatility of symptoms, dreading deterioration, struggling with unrecognized distress, helpless and nihilistic), harboring shame and judgement (marked as unhygienic and contagious, rejected and isolated, hiding away and resenting own appearance, pain and embarrassment in intimacy), demoralized by inadequacies and burden of therapy (disappointed by unmet expectations of treatment benefit, daily drudgery, deterred by unpalatable or inconvenient treatments, disempowered by lack of personalized care), gaining control (making sense of the condition, accepting a new health status, regaining independence and normality, attuning to the body), and making confident treatment decisions (trading off perceptible benefits against safety and convenience, relying on family input, seeking empowering and reassuring relationships). CONCLUSION: Patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis contend with disruption in their functioning, roles, and life course and have unmet expectations about treatment. Enhanced therapeutic relationships, addressing treatment expectations and supporting psychosocial needs may improve satisfaction and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-722
Number of pages12
JournalArthritis Care & Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • patient-centered care


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