Background: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a musculoskeletal disease that adversely affects physical mobility and quality of life. It is challenging to manage because of the heterogeneous nature of the symptoms and the current treatment options.
Purpose: To explore the patient and rheumatologist perspectives of PsA to help improve understanding of the disease experience and improve disease management.
Methods: A descriptive, observational cross-sectional study of Saudi Arabian dermatologists and rheumatologists and patients with psoriasis or PsA was conducted. Questionnaire data were collected from 31 dermatologists, 34 rheumatologists, 90 patients with psoriasis, and 98 patients with PsA and analysed using descriptive statistics. Here, data from rheumatologists and patients with PsA are presented.
Results: The results revealed similarities and differences in the rheumatologist and patient perspectives of PsA. Rheumatologists and patients agreed on the impact that PsA had on patients’ quality of life and that more education was needed. However, they differed on several aspects of disease management. Rheumatologists estimated the time to diagnosis as four times shorter than what patients experienced. Patients accepted their diagnosis more than rheumatologists perceived them to; rheumatologists perceived patients to be worried or fearful. Patients perceived joint pain as their most severe symptom, in contrast to rheumatologists, who presumed skin appearance was the most severe symptom. Reported input into PsA treatment goals differed significantly. More than half of the rheumatologists reported equal patient-physician input into goal development as opposed to <10% of patients reporting the same. Almost half of patients reported no input into the development of their treatment goals.
Conclusion: The management of PsA could benefit from enhanced screening and re-evaluation of what PsA outcomes have the most value to patients and rheumatologists. A multidisciplinary approach is recommended with increased patient involvement in disease management and individualized treatment options.
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