Online as effective as in-person care for quality of life in psoriasis
An online, collaborative connected-health model is as effective as in-person care at improving quality of life (QOL) among patients with psoriasis, a recent study has shown.
Researchers randomly assigned 296 adults with physician-diagnosed psoriasis to receive either online (n=148; 50.7 percent male) or in-person (n=148; 50.0 percent male) care. The online model delivered care asynchronously in two ways: consultation, which principally included a dermatologist and the primary care physician (PCP), and requesting a specialist to assume care of the case, which included stronger direct communication with the patient.
In both modes of online care, the PCP would take photos of the patient’s skin and send it over a secure, web-based platform to the responding specialist.
Over 12 months of observation, there was a decrease in Skindex-16 scores in both groups, indicating overall improvement in QOL. The unadjusted mean decline in scores in the online and in-person groups were 9.02±20.67 and 10.55±23.50, respectively. Adjusting for confounders showed no significant difference between groups (average difference, –0.83; 95 percent CI, –5.18 to 3.15).
Analysis according to subscales returned similar results. Scores in the Symptom subscale decreased by 1.79±5.92 and 2.63±7.32 points in the online and in-person groups, respectively, translating to a nonsignificant average adjusted difference (–0.32; –1.52 to 0.89).
The same was true for change in score in the Emotions (online vs in-person: 4.75±10.18 vs 5.04±11.54; between-group difference, –0.64; –2.89 to 1.61) and Functioning (2.48±7.02 vs 3.04±7.65; between-group difference, –0.01; –1.34 to 1.32) subscales.