SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Background

Psoriasis has been linked with cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs), including the metabolic syndrome, yet many patients with psoriasis remain unscreened.

Objective

To assess the reasons for lack of screening for CVRFs in psoriasis patients, and the impact of an education programme targeting these deficiencies.

Methods

All patients with psoriasis, regardless of severity, and all dermatologists working at the National Skin Centre (NSC) in Singapore were surveyed over a 2-month period on their attitudes and knowledge regarding psoriasis and cardiovascular risk. This was followed by a targeted programme which was implemented over 2 months to address these identified deficiencies. Patients and doctors were surveyed a second time to assess the effects of the intervention.

Results

Obstacles to screening included lack of patient knowledge, patients not considering screening important, and lack of time during the clinic consultation. After the intervention, there was a significant increase in the proportion of patients who were aware of increased cardiovascular risk in psoriasis (33.0% to 62%), with more patients attending screening (39.1% to 63.2%). While the level of doctors' knowledge did not significantly increase, there was an increase in the proportion of patients who were screened post-intervention (37.1% to 66.2%), and more doctors reported that they were more likely to screen psoriatic patients from an earlier age (30.2% to 58.1%).

Conclusions

The obstacles in implementing universal screening for CVRFs in psoriasis patients stem from patient, doctor and system factors. A comprehensive programme targeting all aspects of this ecosystem helps to achieve holistic care for patients with psoriasis.