• clinical trial;
  • etanercept;
  • health-care resource utilization;
  • psoriasis;
  • quality of life;
  • tumor necrosis factor


Objective:  The 24-week Etanercept Assessment of Safety and Effectiveness (EASE) study evaluated the effectiveness and tolerability of continuous versus interrupted etanercept treatment in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The objective of this analysis was to assess patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and health-care resource utilization (HRU) data from the EASE study.

Methods:  Patients received open-label etanercept 50 mg twice weekly for 12 weeks and then received either continued or interrupted (single round of discontinuation and re-treatment with etanercept) etanercept 50 mg once weekly for the second 12 weeks. PROs included the following: 1) the patient global assessments of psoriasis, joint pain, and itching scores; 2) the Dermatology Life Quality Index; 3) the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 vitality domain; 4) the Beck Depression Inventory; 5) the European Quality-of-Life Group Feeling Thermometer; and 6) a patient satisfactionsurvey. HRU was evaluated using the Economic Implications of Psoriasis patient questionnaire.

Results:  Continuous treatment with etanercept 50 mg twice weekly for 12 weeks followed by 50 mg once weekly for 12 weeks produced sustained and clinically important improvements in PROs and reductions in HRU. Reductions in some outcome measures after treatment discontinuation at week 12 were observed in the interrupted group; however, most changes did not revert to baseline levels, consistent with some residual clinical effect, and re-treatment produced improvements similar to week 12 levels.

Conclusions:  Continuous etanercept treatment provided greater sustained improvements in PROs than interrupted therapy; however, interrupting etanercept therapy, if needed, has predictable and manageable effects.